Europa League: Stéphane Mbia denies fightback to clinch final spot for Seville


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The Independent Online

Stéphane Mbia broke Valencia hearts last night when his goal deep in added time took Seville through to the final of the Europa League against Benfica after the home side had wiped out a two-goal deficit to lead 3-2 in the tie.

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Valencia opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Algerian midfielder Sofiane Feghouli got free down the right, cut in and fired the ball past keeper Antonio Beto. The home side drew level in the tie 12 minutes later, Jonas’s towering near-post header going in off the unfortunate Beto.

Valencia thought they were on their way to the final when defender Jérémy Mathieu bundled the ball in at a corner with 21 minutes to go. However a powerful header from Mbia, on loan from Queen’s Park Rangers, cut short the Mestalla’s celebrations.

Benfica, last year’s beaten finalists, survived having two men sent off in an ill-tempered game at Juventus to go through 2-1 on aggregate after a goalless draw.