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Football: Sevilla stun Benfica on penalties to maintain jinx

Published on May 15, 2014 6:42 AM
Sevilla's captain Ivan Rakitic (left) and his teammates celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Europa League 2014 final between Sevilla FC and Benfica Lisbon in Turin, Italy, on 14 May 2014. Sevilla won 4-2 on penalties. -- PHOTO: EPA

TURIN, Italy (AFP) - Spanish side Sevilla sensationally claimed a third Europa League title after a dramatic penalty shoot-out in which Benfica pair Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo missed from the spot to extend the Portuguese giants’ European final hoodoo in Turin on Wednesday.

Benfica, recently crowned league and League Cup champions, came to Turin confident of ending a 52-year hoodoo that had seen them lose a total of seven European finals since winning the second of two consecutive European Cups in 1962.

Benfica had stumbled at the last hurdle five times in the European Cup, once in the Uefa Cup (1983) and once in its successor, the Europa League, in 2013 when they lost 2-1 to Chelsea in Amsterdam.

However despite creating the lion’s share of chances in a fairly balanced encounter, the ‘Benfica Curse’ was maintained as Jorge Jesus’s men ultimately failed to convert the numerous chances they created at Juventus Stadium.

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