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Sevilla Wins The “Europa League”

Sevilla v Benfica

Sevilla secured their third Europa League triumph in nine seasons as Benfica lost a dramatic penalty shootout, their eighth straight European final defeat.

Both sides wasted fine chances to settle the tie before penalties, Carlos Bacca blazing wide for Sevilla in extra time after racing through on goal.

Benfica forward Lima had an effort hooked off the line.

Kevin Gameiro stroked home Sevilla’s winner from the spot.

Carlos Bacca, Stephane Mbia, who is on loan from Queens Park Rangers, and Coke were also on target for the Spanish club.

Brazilian forward Lima and Luisao did find the net for Benfica but Beto, Sevilla’s Portugal-born keeper, made crucial saves to keep out efforts by Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo.

Sevilla had overcome fellow Spanish side Espanyol on penalties to win the 2007 final, 12 months after overcoming Middlesbrough for their first success in the competition.

But while Los Rojiblancos’s 9,000 travelling fans in Turin celebrated another triumph in Europe’s second-tier club tournament, Benfica’s long wait for success on the continent continues.

Despite recently sealing a 33rd domestic title, the Portuguese are still without a European triumph since being crowned European Cup champions in 1962.

Jorge Jesus’ side had enough chances to have won the tie before the final went to penalties.

A largely uneventful opening half came to life shortly before the interval when Beto saved from Benfica’s Spanish forward Rodrigo at his near post moments after denying Maxi Pereira.

Then Benfica were denied a stoppage-time penalty, German referee Felix Brych waving away strong Portuguese appeals after a foul on Nicolas Gaitan.

There was more action in the first five minutes of the second half than the previous 45 as Benfica carried on from where they left off.

Nicolas Pareja hooked Lima’s shot off the line before Rodrigo’s goal-bound attempt was charged down.

Sevilla responded with a sweeping move of their own, Coke picking out Jose Antonio Reyes whose first-time shot produced a fine save from Jan Oblak.

Six minutes from the end of normal time, Benfica’s Lima thought he had won it with a curling shot which Beto somehow managed to get his fingertips to.

Extra time saw Bacca race through on goal before firing wide.

But Sevilla’s frustration did not last long, as they sent their fans into raptures with four well-taken penalties to continue Benfica’s European agony.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (5) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Sevilla

  • 13 Beto
  • 23 Andújar Moreno Booked
  • 16 Moreno Booked
  • 06 Carriço
  • 21 Pareja
  • 02 Fazio Booked
  • 19 Reyes (Marin – 78′ )
  • 40 Mbia
  • 09 Bacca
  • 11 Rakitic
  • 20 Machín Pérez (Figueiras – 110′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Varas Herrera
  • 03 Navarro Corbacho
  • 05 Figueiras
  • 07 Marin (Gameiro – 104′ )
  • 12 Iborra
  • 15 Trochowski
  • 18 Gameiro

Benfica

  • 41 Oblak
  • 14 Maxi Pereira
  • 16 Siqueira Booked (Cardozo – 99′ )
  • 30 André Gomes
  • 04 Luisão
  • 24 Garay
  • 08 Sulejmani (Almeida – 25′ Booked )
  • 06 Amorim
  • 11 Lima
  • 19 Rodrigo
  • 20 Gaitán (Cavaleiro – 119′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Artur Moraes
  • 03 Vitória
  • 07 Cardozo
  • 10 Djuricic
  • 33 Jardel
  • 34 Almeida
  • 90 Cavaleiro
Ref: Dr. Felix Brych

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