Eduardo Salvio continued his fine form as his penalty sent Benfica level on points with Napoli at the top of Champions League Group B with a 1-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev, whose hopes of progression are now all but over.
Benfica’s in-form winger – who scored from the spot in Kiev two weeks ago – side-footed home his fifth goal in six games after Kiev captain Domagoj Vida had brought down Luisao on the stroke of half-time.
Dynamo side would have faced elimination with a defeat at Estadio da Luz had Napoli not held Besiktas to a 1-1 draw in the group’s earlier kick-off.
The visitors were handed a golden opportunity to claim a point when Benfica goalkeeper Ederson fouled Derlis Gonzalez, but the Brazilian made amends with a fine save from Junior Moraes’ resulting spot-kick.
And, despite a late spell of Dynamo pressure, Benfica – who had hit the woodwork through Goncalo Guedes midway through the second half – held firm to seal the points.
The defeat leaves Dynamo bottom of Group B, five points adrift of third-placed Besiktas, with Napoli and Benfica a point further ahead.
With Napoli and Besiktas having shared the spoils, Dynamo – without the injured Andriy Yarmolenko – knew that they could not be eliminated from the competition on matchday four regardless of Tuesday’s result.
Benfica started brightly, and should have had the lead when Luisao found space from a corner, but the veteran defender headed over.
Salvio was the next to go close as Benfica continued to press, the diminutive winger heading wide from Alejandro Grimaldo’s hoisted cross.
Grimaldo was unlucky not to score soon after – Artur Rudko doing well to parry the full-back’s effort off-target.
Dynamo finally forged a meaningful foray forward after 35 minutes, former Benfica winger Gonzalez seeing a goal-bound strike blocked before Vida failed to direct his close-range header on target from the subsequent corner.
Matters got worse for Vida just before the interval, Dynamo’s skipper hauling down Luisao in the area, with Salvio duly stepping up to convert from 12 yards.
Benfica wasted no time in looking to extend their advantage after the restart – Kostas Mitroglou drilling over before Guedes rattled the crossbar with a thunderous long-range strike.
Mitroglou went close again following the hour mark, the Greece striker lofting an effort into the side-netting when one-on-one with Rudko.
Dynamo were gifted the chance to restore parity on 68 minutes, only for Ederson to atone for bringing down Gonzalez when he got down low to his right to keep out Junior Moraes’ effort.
Rui Vitoria’s hosts had to hold on as the game drew to a close – Artem Besedin almost levelling from Evgeny Makarenko’s cross – but Dynamo were unable to salvage the points as they slumped to the third defeat of their Champions League campaign.