Sevilla and Benfica to meet in Europa League final

Drama, thy name is "Europa League."

The final on May 14 at the Juventus Stadium will feature Spanish club Sevilla lock horns with Portuguese champions Benfica, after the two teams advanced through their respective semi-final ties in heart-stopping fashion on Thursday.

The former looked destined for defeat at the hands of fellow La Liga club Valencia, trailing 3-0 in the match (3-2 on aggregate) and heading into injury time with only the faintest hope of a miracle to get them through.

Midfielder Stéphane Mbia delivered that miracle in the 95th minute:

The goal knotted the tie at three apiece on aggregate, and allowed Sevilla to qualify on the away goals rule.

Is this a team of destiny? Or is it just a case of a team taking an opportunity that was presented. You decide:

Juventus, meanwhile, were not able to find a miracle of their own. Despite intense pressure, the Italian giants could not find the goal they needed to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg against Benfica.

The Bianconeri were effectively stymied by a resolute group that showed incredible resolve after having a man sent off midway through the second half, and even played the final few minutes down to nine men after a gruesome injury to defender Ezequiel Garay.

What does pure elation look like? Allow the Benfica supporters who made the trek to the Juventus Stadium to demonstrate:

[Courtesy: Sportsnet]


Will this be the year that Benfica breaks their own personal trend of disappointment? The perennial Portuguese powerhouse has lost its last seven European finals, including last season's heartbreaking defeat to Chelsea in this very competition.

Those fans above will be hoping Sevilla doesn't make it eight.

Sevilla and Benfica to meet in Europa League final
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