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Sevilla FC suffered European disappointment against a Portuguese team for the second time this term despite inflicting FC Porto's first UEFA Europa League defeat of the campaign.
Eliminated by SC Braga in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Sevilla were 2-1 down after the round of 32 first leg and rode their luck in the decider before taking the lead on 71 minutes through ex-Porto forward Luís Fabiano.
Their hopes were raised further moments later when Alvaro Pereira was sent off but the numbers were swiftly evened up with Alexis's dismissal. Despite late pressure, the Spanish side could not find a second, with Porto progressing to a last-16 meeting with PFC CSKA Moskva on away goals.
Frédéric Kanouté came within centimetres of reducing Sevilla's aggregate arrears inside two minutes with the outside of his boot. That aside, it was Porto's probing that seemed more likely to yield a breakthrough, with Fernando Belluschi rifling wide and Pereira eliciting a fingertip save from Javi Varas.
Falcao was next to threaten for the hosts with a powerful header from Silvestre Varela's cross which rattled the crossbar, the seven-goal leading scorer in the competition making his first appearance in five weeks because of a left knee injury.
Porto's willingness to put the tie beyond their Iberian counterparts was in evidence again soon after the restart when, following a corner, Belluschi's shot cleared the crossbar. Sevilla responded by bringing on former Dragons forward Luís Fabiano but seconds later only a last-ditch challenge denied Falcao what seemed a certain goal following Hulk's cute pass.
That came from one of several counterattacking opportunities which were now presenting themselves as a result of Sevilla's increasing desperation for a goal, with João Moutinho and Hulk wasting promising openings. Luís Fabiano stunned the home crowd by dispatching with aplomb and though the two dismissals made for a frantic denouement, Sevilla were unable to snatch a decisive second.
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