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Benfica fall short again as Sevilla taste Europa League glory

Sevilla 0 - 0 Benfica *Sevilla win 4-2 on penalties

By Robert Jones

The curse of Bela Guttman returned to haunt Benfica as Sevilla won a penalty shoot-out to beat the Portuguese giants to the Europa League trophy in Turin.

The Hungarian coach declared Benfica would never win another European final when being denied a pay-rise and leaving the club in anger having delivered back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962.

Benfica have now fallen short in the final on eight occasions.

Last night they could not be separated from Sevilla over 120 minutes, and penalty misses from Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo allowed substitute Kevin Gameiro to prolong their agony.

It was Benfica who dominated before the break in the first half.

Sevilla were caught unaware as Maxi Pereira loped into the box to fire straight at Beto and were rather lucky to avoid conceding a penalty when Federico Fazio climbed all over Nicolas Gaitan.

Benfica pushed through that disappointment when play resumed, yet neither Rodrigo nor Lima could stick the ball away as Sevilla failed to clear their lines.

It looked like the crowd would finally be treated to a goal in extra time but Carlos Bacca's drive fizzed past the far post.

That meant a penalty shoot-out, and Lima and Bacca netted before Cardozo clipped straight at Beto.

Stephane Mbia powered home before Coke scored. Luisao kept Benfica alive for a few seconds longer, but substitute Gameiro was soon wheeling away in celebration after beating Oblak to inspire rapture in the Sevilla supporters.

Belfast Telegraph


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