Boavista FC – Match Report vs SL Benfica – 04/07/2020

In this Primera Liga game, Boavista who sit comfortably in mid table, lined up against a Benfica side looking to chase down Porto at the top of the league. Boavista played a 4-2-3-1 formation, but dropped into a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 to match up against Benfica’s formation when defending. Boavista gave up a lot of the ball, having only 34% possession and they struggled to create anything meaningful in the game.

Sofascore.com AttackMomentum

Sofascore’s attacking momentum graph here shows how much control Benfica had throughout the game. Boavista were on the back foot throughout.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Fernando Cardozo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Paraguayan
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 08/02/2001
  • Club: Boavista
  • Career: Olimpia, Boavista (L)
  • Position: Right Midfield
  • Secondary position: Left Midfield, Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

In a game where Boavista struggled to generate much attacking threat Cardozo was one of the brighter sparks before being replaced in the 60th minute. He started the game on the left of midfield but from early on it was clear he liked to come onto to central areas and across the front line to get involved on the ball.

When Cardozo held his position in wide areas he was able to find some good space and make some penetrative runs, on one occasions he found a lot of space on the right and received a through ball into the box but it wouldn’t settle for him and he couldn’t get a shot off. He showed good pace and acceleration as he was able to get away from defenders and into space well. He showed some clever movement on the ball and was able to spin his fullbacks to get in behind them. For a smaller player, Cardozo held the ball up pretty well to get other players involved, he had a good first touch and was able to get difficult balls under control a lot of the time.

When it came to passing, he was able to move the ball on quickly with one and two touch passes when it was needed. Cardozo showed good intelligence when it came to his pass choices., his passes weren’t always accurate but he was picking the right passes even of they weren’t coming off and he tried to play progressive passes and break down Benfica. He sometimes lacked a bit of composure and end product in the final third.

Cardozo occupied good defensive positions in wide areas a lot of the time but he wasn’t very active, He was just occupying the space more than anything. He wasn’t involved much in the press and he didn’t really track runners beyond him that well. Benfica’s right back was able to run past him with relative ease before finishing the opening goal.

Rating – B1

Cardozo showed some potential to be a useful attacking threat in this game and if he could show some more composure and produce some more end product in attacking areas I might be tempted to bump him up to an ‘A’ rating after some further viewings.

Paulinho

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 8/1/1997
  • Club: Boavista
  • Career: Fluminese (Y), Sporting Lisbon B (L), Boavista
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Paulinho played this game in a central midfield position. At 5’8″ he wasn’t involved in the air much and often found himself losing out on the ball when he was confronted by opposition players. He lacked a bit of physicality to compete in challenges and tackles. He showed good acceleration and pace when pressing the opposition.

However, Paulinho provided a lot of energy in Boavista’s midfield. He was constantly on the move and pressing the Benfica players. He was able to force them into mistakes sometimes and he was able to pick up loose balls well as he pressed high up the pitch. He was brave in the challenge on a few occasions and was able to nick the ball away from opposition players and he was unlucky to not win the ball back deep into Benfica’s half on a few occasions after he pressed the defenders.

Paulinho presented as one of Boavista’s best technical players in this game as well. He was able to play good passes off both feet and switch play well. He rarely played long balls and kept his passing game short and to feet. He was able to link up with teammates well with some good one touch passing to create space for his teammates to play in. He showed he could be effective on the ball in both central and wide areas.

He was confident with the ball at his feet, he attempted a number of dribbles in the game, He was guilty of dribbling and losing the ball in some dangerous areas on occasion and he wasn’t always successful but he didn’t let it deter him and he did demonstrate that he was capable of operating in tight spaces. He does, however, need to improve his decision making when it comes to trying to dribble out of tight situations and should sometimes clear or pass the ball instead.

Rating – B2

Marlon Xavier

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 20/05/1997
  • Club: Boavista
  • Career: Criciuma, Fluminese, Boavista
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Marlon was Boavista’s left back in this game and he struggled defensively for a lot of the game. He lacked awareness of what was going on outside of his field of view and some blame could be placed at his door for all 3 of Benfica’s goals.

Marlon tended to defend in quite narrow positions which left quite a lot of free space in behind him in wider positions. The problems came as Marlon was unaware of what was happening in that space behind him. For Benfica’s first two goals wide players were able to run into that space with relative ease and score from the back post area as Marlon was nonreactive to crosses and diagonal balls that went over his head.

Being 5’9″ he struggled to compete in the air sometimes, but was able to win a couple of tackles. When he was in wider defensive positions Befinca sometimes struggled to play past him as he showed good pace to track runners and balls in behind the defence and was able to cut out some crosses. He was sometimes quite passive when defending and didn’t engage attackers that were running at him and just continued to back off with the defensive line.

He seemed happy to receive the ball and made some good angles for passes from his centre backs, however he did sometimes come to close to them and congested the space meaning they were forced to play long. He was sometimes slow to release the ball and his passing came with mixed accuracy. He played a few good longer balls down the line but he did cede possession in this way with a poor pass prior to the third Benfica goal. When he got the chance he overlapped on the left side fairly well and was able to find some good positions but those times were few and far between.

Rating – C

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