Galatasaray back in business in Europe with win over Benfica

ISTANBUL (AP) Lukas Podolski scored a first-half winner as Galatasaray secured its first victory in Group C of the Champions League on Wednesday by beating Benfica 2-1 at the Ali Sami Yen stadium.

Benfica, which came into the match as clear group leaders, made a dream start when midfielder Nicolas Gaitan put the Portuguese side ahead in the second minute.

Galatasaray soon recovered and Selcuk Inan leveled from the penalty spot in the 19th minute after a handball in the area by Andre Almeida.

Podolski scored what proved to be the match winner in the 33rd after latching on to a long ball forward from Aurelien Chedjou.

The Germany forward sprinted past defenders on the right side of the box before deftly threading a left-foot shot between the legs of Benfica goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Podolski nearly made it 2-0 in the second half with a shot that smacked against the crossbar, one of many missed chances for both sides in a closely-fought match that saw eight yellow cards.

The victory gave the hosts four points in the group, two points less than Benfica and Atletico Madrid, which hammered Astana 4-0.