Miguel Garcia struck two minutes into added time at the end of extra time to give Sporting Clube de Portugal a dramatic win against AZ Alkmaar and a place in the UEFA Cup final at their own Estádio José Alvalade.
Garcia's thrilling late effort clinched victory on the away goals rule after the tie had ended 4-4 on aggregate, and ensured heartache for a Dutch side for a second night running following PSV Eindhoven's UEFA Champions League elimination.
Alkmaar, 2-1 behind from the first leg, had taken an early lead through Kenneth Perez before Liedson swung the tie back in Sporting's favour moments before half-time. Stein Huysegems' late goal forced extra time and Kew Jaliens seemingly won the tie for Alkmaar four minutes into the second period only for Garcia to hit back.
Alkmaar were without suspended midfielders Olaf Lindenbergh and Michael Buskermolen, the only absentees from their weekend victory over FC Groningen. Sporting coach José Peseiro rang the changes, recovering a number of the players he had rested for the 3-0 win against SC Braga. Sunday's hat-trick hero Mauricio Pinilla, however, missed out through injury.
Alkmaar took the game to their more fancied opponents from the start and - after Perez had seen an early shot saved - went ahead on seven minutes. The Danish international made no mistake with his second sight of goal, sending a bullet header into the roof of the net after a sublime right-wing cross from Tarik Sektioui.
Sporting survived another close shave when Perez floated a free-kick against the upright, but once they had finally got into their stride they dominated much of the latter part of the opening half. Roudolphe Douala saw a header deflected just wide and Liedson had a low drive saved by the feet of Henk Timmer.
Alkmaar could have added to their advantage, though, with the lively Sektioui running at goal before seeing his effort repelled at the near post by Ricardo on 27 minutes. A Barry van Galen strike was then stopped by the Portuguese international seven minutes later.
The match was being played at a relentless pace with chances at both ends, and Sporting finally took one of theirs moments before the interval. Seconds after seeing a shot tipped over the bar, Liedson diverted an Anderson Polga attempt into the net from close range for a deserved equaliser. It was his ninth goal of this UEFA Cup campaign.
The second half started at a more leisurely tempo, before an early acrobatic effort from Van Galen, which fizzed just over the top, almost regained the initiative for Alkmaar. Opportunities were increasingly at a premium but it was Alkmaar who forced the play, and with 12 minutes remaining Huysegems struck to salvage their UEFA Cup dream.
Huysegems came close to scoring again in normal time but fired a shot just wide in a frantic finale, then in extra time Ricardo did well to flick Ron Vlaar's free-kick over the bar. Four minutes into the second 15-minute instalment, Alkmaar edged in front, Jaliens volleying past Ricardo to send the Alkmaarderhout into wild celebrations.
Yet as in Eindhoven, the Dutch side would miss out in agonising circumstances as Garcia decided a thrilling encounter when he headed in to seal a final date with PFC CSKA Moskva.