Sevilla defeated Benfica 4-2 on penalties to be crowned the 2014 UEFA Europa League Champions at the Juventus Stadium in Italy on Wednesday. A slow and cagey start by both sides saw neither goalkeeper tested. Benfica and Sevilla had chances to open their accounts but had their chances saved.
The first half came to a close after Benfiquistas felt they should have been awarded a penalty after Nicolas Gaitan was upended by Federico Fazio but the referee did not oblige. In the second half with both sides still locked at 0-0 the Portuguese and Spanish came out showing some intent to get on the board with early chances from Lima and Ivan Rakitic respectively.
The second 45 minutes proved to be a better half for both sides as they made headway off the counter attack but neither could break the deadlock after the 90 minutes and thus it would be extra time. In extra time Sevillistas had the best chance to score when Rakitic sent Carlos Bacca through on goal only for the forward to send the ball wide in an attempt to bend it around the La Liga side’s keeper Jan Oblak.
Andre Gomes latched on to a stray pass from Daniel Carrico to take the team from the Primera Liga into the Los Rojiblancos half and attempt a long range shot which didn’t come off. After 120 minutes of football the scoreline remained 0-0 and headed into a penalty shootout.
For Benfica Lima was the first to go driving his shot into the bottom right corner to give his side the advantage. Sevilla’s Bacca stepped up and and powered his spot kick into the roof of the net to level it at 1-1. Oscar Cardoza’s penalty was saved by Beto to hand the advantage to the Spanish. Stephane Mbia stepped up and calmly put his side 2-1 up. Rodrigo was next for the Portuguese only to be denied by a fully stretched Beto. Coke increased his side’s lead to 3-1 which meant the next penalty taker for Benfica had to score to keep them in the game which their skipper Luisao did. However Kevin Gamiera broke Benfica hearts burying his penalty to see Sevilla winning 4-2 on penalties.