Metros defeat Portuguese giants Benfica, 2:0
February 27, 2001 (Official Game Summary)

Benfica MetroStars

02.27.01 · Preseason

Adolfo Valencia and Alex Comas each scored first-half goals, and goalkeeper Tim Howard saved a penalty kick midway through the second half, to help lift the MetroStars to a 2-0 shutout victory over powerful Benfica of Portugal this morning at the Stadium of Lights in Lisbon.

Benfica used 13 players during the game, including 11 members of their full roster and four regular starters. The game was played in two 40-minute halves with unlimited substitutions.

The win lifted the MetroStars' record to 4-0-1 on their TAP/Air Portugal Preseason Tour, which concluded with the win over Benfica. The team immediately flew back to the New York/New Jersey area, where it will resume training on Thursday.

Valencia put the MetroStars up 1-0 in just the 12th minute of the game, heading home a cross from Petter Villegas into the upper right-hand corner past Benfica goalkeeper Bossio.

Eighteen minutes later, Valencia started a quick counter attack at the midfield circle by sending a long through ball to Comas, who went in alone on Bossio and slid the ball past him into the right corner to put the MetroStars up 2-0.

Benfica had a chance to pull within 2-1 in the 59th minute, but Howard made a spectacular save on a penalty kick by Benfica striker Andre, then smothered a rebound attempt by Toy, to preserve the shutout.

The MetroStars, who played a 3-5-2 formation, had a chance to go up 3-0 in the 75th minute, but Comas' strong header off another cross from Villegas was saved by Bossio.

The MetroStars will resume training in New Jersey on Thursday and Friday, and will resume training Monday through Friday at either Kean University or the Giants Stadium bubble before departing next Thursday, March 8 for MLS Spring Training in Fort Lauderdale.

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