A bus carrying Primeira Liga champions SL Benfica was stoned on Thursday, breaking the glass and injuring two players, after they had played their first game since COVID-19 halted the season, the club said in a statement.
German midfielder Julian Weigl, 24, and Serbian winger Andrija Zivkovic, 23, were hit by debris and taken to a hospital in Lisbon to be treated as a precaution, Benfica said.
The attack on a major motorway between the club’s Estadio da Luz and training ground followed Benfica’s first game in three months.
“Sport Lisboa and Benfica denounce and lament the criminal stoning the bus of its players was victim to,” the statement read.
BENFICA 0, TONDELA 0
Benfica missed the chance to move clear of title rivals FC Porto at the top of the table after being held to a 0-0 draw by lowly CD Tondela.
The top two are now level on 60 points with nine rounds of matches remaining.
Fans had gathered outside the gates of the stadium to support the team because restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak prevented them from entering the ground.
Porto’s 2-1 defeat at FC Famalicao on Wednesday gave Benfica the opportunity to go two points clear at the summit but, despite dominating the match at an empty Estadio da Luz and having 24 shots at goal, they failed to find a way through.
The draw took Benfica back to the top on goal difference although they are locked on 60 points with Porto after 25 games. Tondela are 13th with 26 points, seven above the drop zone.
Benfica defender Ruben Dias headed against the woodwork from a corner in the second half while substitute Dyego Sousa also headed against the frame of the goal and then had a shot cleared off the line in added time.
“We were almost always in the opponents’ half and we created a lot more opportunities. We were the best team on the pitch and we played pretty well, but that is not enough,” Benfica coach Bruno Lage said.
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