LISBON, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Benfica beat Nacional 1-0 on Monday in the first round of Group D of the Portuguese League Cup in Madeira thanks to an early own goal by Nacional's defender Mexer.
Argentine forward Nicolas Gaitan did all the hard work in the 32nd minute as his left footed cross slided towards the net. Mozambican defender Mexer then knocked the ball with his head, misleading goalkeeper Gottardi.
Benfica dominated the game from the start and was fast and agile. Sulejmani was close to scoring in the 10th minute after good work by Siqueira on the left, but the Serbian's effort was too weak.
Nacional's performance was superior in the second half but the club from Madeira wasted several chances. Lucas Joao's header in the 58th was too high and Joao Aurelio's powerful shot minutes later was caught mid-air by Slovenian goalkeeper Oblak.
Their biggest chance to end the game with a draw came in the 75th minute but Lucas Joao's effort hit Oblak's left post.
Benfica now holds an advantage in the run-up to the semifinals of the Portuguese League Cup.