Sevilla tops Benfica in PKs to win Europa League

The Sports NetworkMay 14, 2014 

Turin, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Sevilla claimed the 2013-14 Europa League title on Wednesday after winning 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 stalemate in 120 minutes of action.

Sevilla goalkeeper Beto saved two spot kicks in the shootout while the Spanish side converted all four of its attempts, with Kevin Gameiro scoring the final goal to hand Sevilla its third title in the competition since 2006.

Benfica, meanwhile, continues to stumble in European finals as the club has now lost its last eight such matches reaching back to 1962.

The first half of the contest was filled with more fouls and bookings than actual scoring chances, and the best opportunity fell to Benfica in the 45th minute when Maxi Pereira got under a chipped ball into the box and had his close-range volley parried by Beto.

Things opened up after halftime and Lima had a great chance to break the deadlock in the 48th when he took down a long ball from Pereira and beat Beto, only for defender Nicolas Pareja to block the shot on its way to goal.

Benfica continued to be the more dangerous side and Beto came to the rescue in the 84th when Lima found space at the top of the penalty area to unleash a dipping shot that the netminder tipped over the crossbar.

Both teams were tiring as the match reached extra time, although Sevilla had a great look at goal in the 101st minute when Ivan Rakitic released Carlos Bacca down the right wing and into the box, where he fired a shot just wide of the far post.

It was the final good chance for either side, and when the match went to penalties, Beto stepped up and saved shots from both Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo to hand his team another European trophy.

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