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Penalty shootout seals dramatic Sevilla fightback against Betis

English.news.cn   2014-03-21 08:03:07

MADRID, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Sevilla overcame a two-goal first leg defeat and a penalty shootout to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a dramatic win away to city rivals Betis on Thursday night.

Betis midfielder Nono lived up to his name by missing the decisive last penalty of the shootout to bring an epic game to an end after 120 of drama and five minutes of nail-biting tension.

Although Betis had overturned the form book last week with a 2-0 win in Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, the fact it was a Seville derby with all of that entails, made it clear that anything could be expected in a return leg where home advantage was likely to count for very little.

Sevilla proved that in the 20th minute of a game played with an electric atmosphere in the Benito Villamarin Stadium when left back Antonio Moreno's cross was met by Jose Antonio Reyes to give them the lead on the night and to put the visitors right back into the tie.

Reyes may have underperformed in recent years but he was in the right place at the right time for a comfortable finish to send the 2,500 visiting fans wild with delight.

With Betis bottom of the BBVA Primera Liga in Spain, the goal was bound to affect their confidence and Moreno and Kevin Gameiro again threatened for Sevilla as the home side suffered and it looked as if Betis were the visitors as they lacked precision in the pass and tried to play on the break.

The halftime whistle will have come as a major relief for Betis but for the first 10 minutes of the second period it was again Sevilla who were on top, although without being able to create clear chances.

Finally Betis sprang to life after 55 minutes and first Leo Baptistao and then Lolo Reyes threatened for the green and whites before Sevilla keeper Beto was finally called to make a flying save from Baptistao 20 minutes after the break.

Carlos Bacca levelled the tie with 15 minutes remaining, taking advantage of Betis' defensive problems to score from inside the penalty area with a right foot shot and take the game into extra time after a tense final 15 minutes.

Antonio Adan was Betis' hero in extra time with a double save from Carlos Bacca and Gamerio as Sevilla looked for a third goal which would have left Betis needing two goals to qualify.

The second period of extra time also ended goalless giving rise to the always dramatic and for one of the sides, always tragic penalty shootout.

It looked as if Adan would again be Betis' hero in the shootout as he saved from Vitolo, but misses from N'diaye and then Nono saw Sevilla through on a day half of the city will remember forever, and which the other half won't be allowed to ever forget.

Elsewhere in Spain, Paco Alcazar's third goal in the competition game Valencia a 1-0 win on the night and a comfortable 4-0 aggregate triumph over Bulgarian side Ludogorets to book a place for Juan Antonio Pizzi's side in the quarter-finals.

Editor: Yang Lina
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