Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 10/22/14
Newcastle are facing an uphill task to make the Europa League semifinals after Benfica came from behind to emerge 3-1 advantage from this evening's quarterfinal first leg in Lisbon. The Magpies were rewarded for a lively start to the game when Papiss Cisse put them 1-0 up in the 12th minute, and the Senegal striker then hit the post. Almost immediately after Benfica leveled through former Bolton forward Rodrigo, who fired in the rebound from a Tim Krul parry. Cisse was denied by the goalframe again early in the second half as his delicate lob struck the upright, and then a terrible error by Davide Santon allowed Lima to put the hosts ahead. Oscar Cardozo's 71st-minute penalty then made it 3-1 after Steven Taylor was penalized for a handball. Although they were facing a team who had been beaten at home only once all season - by Barcelona - and netted more than 100 goals in the campaign, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew had indicated in the build-up to this fixture that he did no...
PLAYERS: Alan Pardew
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