Jan Oblak rued ill fortune after SL Benfica lost yet another European final, but the 21-year-old goalkeeper is determined to end his breakthrough season on a high.
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Goalkeeper Jan Oblak rued ill fortune after SL Benfica suffered an eighth successive European final defeat, but he is determined to end his breakthrough season on a high.
The Slovenian international did everything that was asked of him during 120 minutes of a tense UEFA Europa League final against Sevilla FC at the Juventus Stadium. He could do nothing about the four penalties he conceded in the shoot-out, however, each one unerringly converted by the Spanish side. Opposite number Beto had two opportunities to save and took them both; Sevilla triumphed 4-2 on spot kicks after a 0-0 draw.
"Overall we had a good match tonight and we had plenty of chances to score," Oblak said. "Unfortunately, this is football and we ended up losing on penalties. We had no luck at all but football can be unfair sometimes. Some you win, some you lose."
Oblak has had a campaign to remember. Having spent the last three seasons out on loan, he returned to the Lisbon club last summer ready to play understudy to Artur. An injury to the experienced Brazilian in January gave the 21-year-old his chance and he took it – in a style that has become familiar – with both hands. Five months later he already has two trophies and a major European final under his belt. Oblak, though, is as grounded as ever.
"We are a little bit disappointed but tomorrow is another day and we are as motivated as ever to win all three competitions in Portugal," he said. "We need to prepare for the [Portuguese Cup final] on Sunday against Rio Ave as we must win it. I think we played better than Sevilla but unfortunately luck was not on our side." Oblak, you sense, will have plenty of opportunities to right that sense of injustice.