Sevilla snatch victory in shootout after thrilling stalemate

Sevilla players celebrate

Sevilla snatched the Europa League trophy in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Benfica following an enthralling goalless draw at Juventus Stadium.

Substitute Kevin Gameiro fired his spot-kick home to hand the Spanish side a 4-2 victory – their third European triumph in nine seasons – and end the Portuguese champions’ hunt for a historic quadruple.

Defeat stretched Benfica’s losing run in European finals to eight as the curse of former coach Bela Guttmann, who claimed in 1962 that the club would go 100 years without European success, continued to haunt them.

A cagy opening period was quickly forgotten as both sides poured forward in a thrilling second half with Sevilla perhaps fortunate to survive a series of penalty shouts and a mad goalmouth scramble.

The tempo inevitably slowed in extra-time with Carlos Bacca going closest to a late winner before a shoot-out ensued. Sevilla stopper Beto the hero as he palmed clear two hesitant Benfica penalties before Gameiro stepped up to smash home the winner.

Reuters