Benfica s Spanish defender Alex Grimaldo (C) celebrates scoring the third goal. AFP
Benfica achieved its best group-stage campaign in the Champions League by routing Maccabi Haifa 6-1 on Wednesday.
The result gave the Portuguese side 14 points from six matches, two points more than its previous best campaign achieved 11 years ago.
It also was enough to give Benfica first place in Group H ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, which won at Juventus but finished behind the Portuguese side on the number of away goals scored.
Joao Mario's long-range low shot in stoppage time turned out to be crucial as Benfica and PSG were even on points and head-to-head, and were also tied on goals scored and conceded overall.
Benfica had already secured a spot in the next round in advance.
The victory over Haifa also extended Benfica's unbeaten run to 22 straight matches this season.
Goncalo Ramos put the visitors ahead with a header in the 20th, and Haifa equalized with Tjaronn Chery converting a penalty kick awarded following a lengthy video review for a handball by Benfica defender Alexander Bah inside the area.
Petar Musa put Benfica ahead with another header in the 59th, Alejandro Grimaldo added to the lead by converting a free kick 10 minutes later, Rafa Silva netted the fourth from inside the area in the 73rd, and Henrique Araujo added a fifth in the 88th.
Benfica had already beaten Haifa at home, and it also defeated Juventus twice while drawing both matches against PSG home and away.
Last-place Haifa, whose only group-stage win this season had come against Juventus at home, was coming off a 7-2 loss at PSG in the previous round.
Benfica's last defeat on the road was exactly one year ago when it lost 5-2 to Bayern Munich. Its undefeated run on the road was its longest of any of this season's 32 teams.
Benfica reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season, being eliminated by Liverpool.
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