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Cardozo lifts Benfica into contention

Lisbon - An Oscar Cardozo double after coming on as a second-half substitute helped Benfica beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday and kept alive their chances of qualification for the knockout stages.

Cardozo's header after 55 minutes from a Melgarejo cross and a volley 14 minutes later settled the Group G encounter and lifted the Portuguese side above their Russian rivals by a point to set up a second-place tussle with Celtic later this month.

Spartak Moscow's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (left) fights for the ball with Benfica's Lorenzo Melgarejo during their Champions League Group G soccer match at Luz stadium in Lisbon on Wednesday. Credit: Reuters

Cardozo also hit the bar from the penalty spot after Nicolas Pareja was shown a red card 14 minutes from time as the home side avenged their 2-1 defeat in Moscow two weeks ago.

Benfica now have four points and Spartak three behind group leaders Barcelona who have nine. Celtic, who defeated Barcelona 2-1 on Wednesday, are on seven. - Reuters

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