Nine players and two keepers forced to play farcical Benfica game after Covid carnage

A covid crisis in the Portuguese top-flight has caused Belenenses to line up against 37-time champions Benfica with just nine men.

Unsurprisingly, Benfica ran riot in the first half, and Jorge Jesus’ side bagged seven goals before the referee signalled for half-time.

Swiss striker Haris Seferovic hit a hat-trick against the nine men, which featured a goalkeeper playing at right-back for the Portuguese side.

The deflated Belenenses side left the field after the first period, with their chairman in tears, and never returned for the second half.

During the interval, the referee reached an agreement with both sides to suspend the game.

Soccer Football - Primeira Liga - Belenenses v Benfica - Estadio Nacional, Oeiras, Portugal - November 27, 2021
Benfica's Haris Seferovic celebrates scoring their second goal
Haris Seferovic bagged a hat-trick against the nine men

It is believed that 17 players and staff tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the clash.

As a result of their limited numbers, goalkeepers Joao Monteiro and Alvaro Ramalho were named in Belenenses’ starting side.

However, it was only Ramalho was given the role between the sticks, and Monteiro was given the unenviable task of filling in at right-back for the Lisbon based side.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva tweeted: “What is this? Am I the only one who doesn’t understand why the game hasn’t been postponed?”

And luck wasn’t on the side of Belenenses when they put their ball in their own-goal in the first minute before going on to concede a further six.

Should the game have gone ahead? Let us know in the comments section

Extraordinary night in the Portuguese top flight. Leaders Benfica playing against Belenenses, who can only field 9 players, including 2 goalkeepers outfield due to a COVID outbreak. Their chairman in tears as they go in 7-0 down at half-time.
Belenenses were forced to start with nine men

The Primeira Liga has only seen five winners in its 87-year history.

Benfica are the most successful side with 37 triumphs, while Porto have 29 wins and Sporting Lisbon have 19 top-flight successes.

Boavista, 2000/01, and Belenenses, 1945/46, are the two uninvited guests to the party.

Despite hovering perilously above the relegation zone, Belenenses are by no means a minnow, and they have acquired the 5th most points in Primeira Liga history.

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