Sevilla FC and SL Benfica will meet in this month's UEFA Europa League final in Turin.
Through to the showpiece for the first time in seven years, Sevilla are looking to become only the fourth side – after Juventus, Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale Milano – to win this competition three times. They looked to have surrendered their 2-0 first-leg lead against Valencia CF, only for Stéphane Mbia to strike in the fourth minute of added time to earn an away-goals triumph. Juan Antonio Pizzi's side had gone 3-0 in front on the night, 3-2 overall, thanks to efforts from Sofiane Feghouli and Jérémy Mathieu, as well as a Beto own goal.
Juve, meanwhile, had the chance to become the first team since Sporting Clube de Portugal, in 2005, to play a UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League final at their own stadium. They fell short, though, held to a goalless draw by Benfica at the showpiece venue, meaning a 2-1 aggregate defeat following last week's loss in Lisbon. Benfica, who had Enzo Pérez dismissed with 23 minutes left in Italy, lost last season's decider against Chelsea FC. Having won successive European Champion Clubs' Cups in the early 1960s, the Eagles have since lost seven straight major European finals.
The fifth UEFA Europa League showpiece will take place at Juventus Stadium on Wednesday 14 May, with kick-off at 20.45CET. Sevilla are the nominal home team following last month's draw in Nyon.
19/09/1957: Sevilla 3-1 Benfica (Pahuet 46, Iborra 59, Pepillo 79; Palmeiro 48)
26/09/1957: Benfica 0-0 Sevilla (agg: 1-3)
Sevilla gave their fans something to cheer in the first game of their maiden European campaign. Vicente Pahuet opened the scoring in the first leg of this European Champion Clubs' Cup preliminary round tie, but Francisco Palmeiro levelled. Antonio Iborra put the hosts back in front and Pepillo sealed a two-goal advantage late on. "When games finished then, the teams ate together," said Pahuet. "That day was great. I'm not a handsome man, but the club directors were all coming up to me saying, 'Oh, Pahuet, you are just gorgeous'."
Sevilla goalkeeper José María Busto was in inspired form in the Lisbon return, ensuring the Spanish side's progress. The Andalusian outfit ousted AGF Aarhus in the first round but coach Satur Grech was dismissed before the quarter-final meeting with reigning and eventual champions Real Madrid CF. Sevilla suffered a 10-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Alfredo Di Stéfano and Co.
European final pedigree
SL Benfica (POR)
2012/13 UCUP: lost 2-1 v Chelsea FC
1989/90 ECCC: lost 1-0 v AC Milan
1987/88 ECCC: lost 6-5 on pens v PSV Eindhoven (0-0 aet)
1982/83 UCUP: lost 2-1 v RSC Anderlecht (agg)
1967/68 ECCC: lost 4-1 v Manchester United FC (aet)
1964/65 ECCC: lost 1-0 v FC Internazionale Milano
1962/63 ECCC: lost 2-1 v AC Milan
1961/62 ECCC: won 5-3 v Real Madrid CF
1960/61 ECCC: won 3-2 v FC Barcelona
ECCC: European Champion Clubs' Cup
UCUP: UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League
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