Report: Leicester City 2 Benfica 0

Leicester City’s Development Squad qualified for the quarter-finals of the Premier League International Cup after beating Benfica 2-0 at King Power Stadium on Monday.

An own goal from Victor Lindelof and a strike from Tom Hopper meant the young Foxes made it four wins in a row in all competitions, most recently beating Schalke 2-0 last week.
Matthew Upson played his first competitive match in a blue shirt since signing from Brighton in the summer as the central-defender completed 45 minutes before coming off for Academy left-back Ben Chilwell.
Benfica went into the game having beaten Schalke 1-0 in their first fixture of the competition, but lost 3-1 to Manchester City on Friday.
Harry Panayiotou carved out the first chance of the game, controlling well with his chest before unleashing a powerful shot that was deflected behind on seven minutes.
But City didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead. A low cross from Tom Lawrence saw Benfica defender Lindelof turn the ball into the back of his own net on 11 minutes.
And the young Foxes made it 2-0 six minutes later. The visitors could only clear Jack Barmby’s low cross to captain Hopper, who side-footed in to double his side’s advantage.
Substitute Kris Scott went close on the half-hour mark, hitting an effort goal-bound that had to be turned behind by the opposition defence.
City could have made it three with 37 minutes on the clock as Barmby picked out Hopper on the edge of the box – the striker’s low effort saved well by goalkeeper Miguel Santos.
A superb double save from Santos just before the break then halted the City frontline, first denying Hopper, before tipping Lawrence’s effort to safety – Leicester lead 2-0 at the break.
Panayiotou created the first chance of the second half as his low cross could only be parried by the opposition ‘keeper into the path of Hopper, who slotted just wide on 51 minutes.
Hamer had to be on his guard moments later when a good ball down the line from Joao Teixeira found Helder Costa – the ‘keeper coming out well to clear the danger.
Callum Elder then did well to deny Costa again, throwing himself in the path of a goal-bound shot from the forward just past the hour mark.
Another save from Santos denied Barmby from adding to City’s tally on 72 minutes, tipping over the former Manchester United man’s strike.
Hamer then got down well to his right to deny Rui Fonte, clawing the low drive from out of the bottom corner to ensure Benfica didn’t find a way back into the game.
A neat flick from Joao Nunes caused havoc in the box in the dying stages, but Hamer was again wise to the opposition’s efforts and got his hand onto the ball before Kieran Kennedy cleared his lines.
Successfully halting the Benfica frontline, City secured their second Premier League International Cup victory in six days, with a tie against Manchester City still to come in the tournament.
Steve Beaglehole’s men will now switch their attention to the U21 Premier League Cup on Tuesday 9 December before continuing their Barclays U21 Premier League campaign against Southampton six days later.
CITY: Hamer, Sesay, Elder, McCourt, Kennedy, Upson (Chilwell 46), Lawrence, Barmby, Hopper (c), Panayiotou, Dodoo (Scott 9 (Stankevicius 72))
SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Rowe
GOALS: Lindelof o.g. 11, Hopper 17
BENFICA: M.Santos, Nunes, Cardoso (Amorim 63), Costa, Pinto, Guedes, Fonte, Lindelof, Semedo, Menga (N. Santos 63), Teixeira (Sanches 82)
SUBS NOT USED: Varela, V.Santos, Rebocho, Alfaiate
REFEREE: Robert Massey-Ellis

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