Jarrod Bowen produced a moment of brilliance just before the hour mark to seal victory at the Estadio Algarve, bursting into the box before finding the top corner with a stunning curling finish.
Skipper Michael Dawson’s straight red card for a professional foul 13 minutes from time threatened to spoil the evening, but the Tigers stood firm at the back to claim an impressive result against reigning Portuguese champions.
“I was delighted with my team’s performance,” he said. “It was a good performance. We played better than Benfica on the night and, in my opinion, it was a fully deserved win.
“It was difficult for us in the last 15 minutes or so when we were down to ten men and had a lot of young players on the pitch, but we remained strong defensively which was pleasing to see. I was very satisfied with the first 65-70 minutes though and it was good to see the players’ efforts rewarded with the win.
“Of course results are not always the most important factor in pre-season, but beating a team of Benfica’s calibre will be a great confidence boost for the players.
“We are working hard with the players to install new principles and a new philosophy. We have had a lot of theoretical lessons since returning for pre-season and it is nice to see our hard work and effort coming to fruition by beating Champions League level opposition.
“It was a really good performance and it is pleasing to see the players believing in my ideas. It is very important for me, the team and the Club that we now continue to do our jobs in the build up to the Championship season.”