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Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:57:37 AM
Monday April 28, 2014 MYT 4:58:13 AM
(Reuters) - Benfica ended Porto's hopes of a consolation prize this season when they beat their arch-rivals on penalties in the Portuguese League Cup semi-finals despite playing for an hour with 10 men.
Benfica held on for a goalless draw at Porto's Dragao stadium and won the shootout 4-3 to continue their domestic dominance.
Ten days ago, they beat Porto 3-1 to reach the Cup final after again playing with 10 men for an hour.
Benfica's Steven Vitoria was given a straight red card in the 28th minute for hauling down Jackson Martinez just outside the penalty area when the Colombian had a clear run on goal.
"It was a foul but not a sending-off," Benfica coach Jorge Jesus told reporters. "Jackson was running in a diagonal line away from the goal."
Porto failed to take advantage and both sides missed two penalties in the shootout before Porto midfielder Fernando fired wide from his team's sixth attempt, handing the win to Benfica. Extra-time is not played in the competition.
Porto will end the season without a trophy while Benfica have already won the league, and reached the Cup final and the Europa League semi-finals.
The League Cup, the least glamorous domestic competition, was started in 2007-08 and features only first and second division teams. Many clubs rotate their sides and field younger players in the early stages.
"Porto probably aren't very sad because their directors don't attach much importance to the League cup, but we do," said Benfica defender Jardel.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)
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