Skip to main content

Sevilla beat cursed Benfica on penalties in Europa League final

updated 3:47 AM EDT, Thu May 15, 2014
The party begins in Turin as Sevilla celebrate winning their first European title since 2007 and the third in the club's history. The party begins in Turin as Sevilla celebrate winning their first European title since 2007 and the third in the club's history.
HIDE CAPTION
Europa champions
Bacca on the attack
Famous fans
Ay-Garay
Penalty appeals
Tears of joy
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sevilla defeat Benfica 4-2 on penalties to win the Europa League in Turin
  • The Spanish side join an elite group of teams to have lifted the European trophy three times
  • Benfica's European curse continues as the Portuguese club have now lost eight European finals
  • Spain will win all European trophies in 2014 as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contest Champions League

(CNN) -- Spain are an unstoppable force in European football.

Sevilla beat Benfica in a penalty shootout to win the Europa League Wednesday with La Liga rivals Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid guaranteed to claim the Champions League crown.

As an hors d'oeuvre to the mouthwatering final on 24 May, the Europa League provided plenty of drama.

Sevilla edged out their Portuguese rivals 4-2 on penalties after a tense 120 minutes of play at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.

The Spanish side joined an elite group of teams to have lifted the European trophy three times following their UEFA Cup wins in 2006 and 2007.

Benfica have now lost eight European finals -- and the club's peculiar curse continues.

After winning the European Cup for a second time in 1962, then manager Bela Guttman was denied a pay rise and promptly declared the club would not succeed on the continent for 100 years.

The so-called hex struck again as Benfica tried to lay their ghosts to rest on Italian soil.

Jorge Jesus' side had not lost a match on their way to Wednesday's Europa League final while Sevilla had scored 22 goals on their rockier road to the showdown.

Despite this goal-scoring prowess, football's first European silverware of the season was decided on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.

Sevilla's lively forward Carlos Bacca and Jose Antonio Reyes had a thrilling series of chances repelled.

At the opposite end, Brazilians Lima and Rodrigo forged a potent twin threat for Benefica.

Lima forced a fingertip save from Beto when he sent a fizzing long range effort in the Sevilla keeper's direction but the Spaniard's defense held firm -- and the match went into extra time.

With another 30 minutes added to the clock, Lima and Bacca once again had the best of the chances.

Bacca was put through on goal with a sensational pass from Sevilla captain Ivan Rakitic but the Colombian flicked his left-footed shot wide.

It was the last real chance either side had to win the match in regulation play.

Lima and Bacca may have struggled to find the back of the net in the final's early stages but both scored as the penalties began in front of the roaring Sevilla fans.

Benfica substitute Oscar Cardozo was the first to lose his cool. The experienced forward's hesitant shot was easily collected by Beto.

The curse struck again as Rodrigo's stuttering shot was saved.

Sevilla's Stephane Mbia,Coke and Spanish international Kevin Gameiro all scored from the spot to see the European trophy join them on the flight back to Spain.

Benfica now turn their attention to the Portuguese Cup final where the league champions hope to secure a domestic treble safe in the knowledge that at least on home soil the hex cannot strike again.

Read: The curse of Bela Guttman

Read: Does anyone want to win La Liga?

Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is provoking huge media interest and the hungry attention of Europe's top clubs.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.