Benfica blew their chance to lift a first European trophy in 52 years when they were held to a goalless draw by Seville in the Europa League final in Turin before the Spanish side won on penalties.
Jorge Jesus’ team, who knocked out Tottenham in an earlier round, wasted several good opportunities as Seville hung on in the hope of winning their third major European trophy and proved the more ruthless at spot-kicks. Oscar Cardozo had a weak penalty saved by Beto and Rodrigo shot wide before Kevin Gameiro’s successful kick clinched glory for the La Liga team.
Benfica had the edge in the first half and were left shaking their heads that they did not go in at half-time ahead. Ezequiel Garay set the tone by failing to score from five yards out when Beto could only palm a Nicolas Gaitan free-kick into his path.
Maxi Pereira was then denied by the Seville keeper when set free on goal by a ball over the top, Beto blocking his shot and then thwarting Rodrigo at his near post. Seville looked rattled and were fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Gaitan was brought down in the area.
The second half opened in much more open fashion, with Lima and Rodrigo going close for Benfica before Seville finally started to pose a threat, Jose Reyes thwarted by a fine Luisao tackle.The former Arsenal striker then shot straight at keeper Jan Oblak before Benfica wasted several good counter-attacks. The pick of them was when Pereira crossed for Lima but he lost his footing.
Seville Beto; Coke, Pareja, Fazio, Moreno; Mbia, Carrico, Reyes (Marin, 78; Gameiro, 104), Rakitic, Vitolo (Figueiras, 110); Bacca. Substitutes not used Varas, Navarro, Iborra, Trochowski.
Benfica Oblak; Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Siqueira (Cardozo, 99); Amorim, Gomes, Gaitan (Cavaleiro, 119), Sulejmani (Almeida, 25); Lima, Rodrigo. Substitutes not used Artur, Vitoria, Djuricic, Jardel.
Referee F Brych (Germany)