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Benfica and Sevilla reach Europa League final

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-01

Sevilla and Benfica will meet in the final of the Europa League after both won their semifinals on Thursday night in dramatic but very different ways.

Sevilla went to Valencia with a two-goal lead. But the home team, playing in front of its raucous fans at the Mestalla stadium, scored twice in the first 26 minutes.

With 20 minutes still to play, Jérémy Mathieu, the veteran French defender, scored a third goal for Valencia after a corner.

Yet in the fourth minute of added time, Stéphane Mbia headed the goal that saved Sevilla.

Valencia won the match, 3-1, but that left the aggregate score tied, 3-3. Sevilla qualified for the final because hey had scored a goal away from home.

The final will take place in the Juventus Stadium in Turin on May 14.

But there will be no home team as Benfica dashed Juventus's hopes of playing in the final in their own stadium.

Benfica, the losing finalists last year, led 2-1 from the first leg.

The Portuguese side spent most of the game on the defensive against the Italian league leaders but held on for a 0-0 draw even though Enzo Perez received a second yellow card and was sent off in the 67th minute.

In the dying seconds, Benfica's Lazar Markovic and Mirko Vucinic of Juventus were also sent off, for fighting.

Date created : 2014-05-01

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