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2015/16 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Patrick Twumasi (19')
  • Marin Anicic (31')
  • Raúl Jiménez (40', 72')

Raul Jimenez double helps Benfica battle back against Astana

Raul Jimenez scored twice as Benfica fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with FC Astana in their Champions League Group C fixture and move to the brink of reaching the tournament's last 16.

Following a promising start, Patrick Twumasi and Marin Anicic had given Astana the lead, but a Jimenez-inspired Benfica gradually drew level.

The result ended Astana's already narrow hopes of progressing to the knockout stages but will keep them in contention for a Europa League place should Galatasaray not win at Atletico Madrid later on Wednesday evening.

Benfica remain in first place on 10 points, but Atletico, who have a superior goal difference, can go level with victory.

Astana took the lead with their first effort on target, in the 19th minute. Meeting Junior Kabananga's left-wing cross at the back post, Twumasi headed beyond Benfica goalkeeper Julio Cesar to put them 1-0 ahead.

Anicic appeared to put them in control 12 minutes later, with a subtle touch from Foxi Kethevoama's free-kick from close range that beat Cesar and sent the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Had the Kazakh side got to half-time with their two-goal lead intact, there is every chance Astana would have secured their first victory of this season's group stage.

Instead, in the 40th minute, the talented Jonas Oliveira found space on the right to cross to Jimenez, who ran to the front post and powerfully headed the ball into the top-right corner, beyond Astana goalkeeper Nenad Eric.

It took until the 72nd minute for Benfica's, and Jimenez's, equalising goal, following a competitive start to the second half in which both teams showed attacking intent.

From another right-wing cross, this time from Andre Almeida, Jimenez again met the ball from close range and again headed beyond Eric, into the far corner.

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