Benfica edge Galatasaray 2-1 in Europa League

Benfica edge Galatasaray 2-1 in Europa League

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Benfica edge Galatasaray 2-1 in Europa League

Benfica's Haris Seferovic scores their second goal against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Feb. 14. (Murad Sezer / Reuters)

Turkey's Galatasaray were edged on Feb. 14 by Portugal's Benfica 2-1 in the first-leg match of the round of 32 in UEFA Europa League.

In the match at Türk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul, the Benfica gained advantage before the second leg at home.

At the second-highest level football competition in Europe, a penalty in the 26th minute was awarded following a controversial handball by Galatasaray's Marcao. Eduardo Salvio scored from the penalty spot at the 27th minute.

In the second half, the Lions' new transfer Christian Luyindama equalized in the 54th minute but Haris Seferovic secured Benfica's win with a second goal in the 64th minute for the Portuguese club.

Benfica trashed Nacional on Feb. 10 with a staggering score of 10-0. Benfica continued to closely follow Porto after their sixth league win in a row, increasing their total points to 50, only one point behind the leaders.

Galatasaray cut the deficit with the leader Medipol Başaksehir to six points with win against Trabzonspor with a 3-1 score in the Spor Toto Super League.

The Lions are the only Turkish club to have won the UEFA Cup in 1999-2000 and the 2000 UEFA Super Cup, while Benfica won two European Cups in 1961 and 1962 and lost two Europa League finals in 2013 and in 2014.

Galatasaray and Benfica were among the eight teams transferring from the UEFA Champions League group stage to the UEFA Europa League.

The second leg will be played on Feb. 21 in Lisbon, Portugal.