10-man Benfica returns to Europa League final

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm •  Published: May 1, 2014
Advertisement
;

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Ten-man Benfica returned to the Europa League final following a 0-0 draw at tournament-favorite Juventus on Thursday, advancing on 2-1 aggregate.

Juventus created numerous chances but either couldn't find the target or was denied by Benfica goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who had a standout performance.

Even when Benfica was reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute as Argentine midfielder Enzo Perez picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Arturo Vidal, Jorge Jesus' squad maintained its composure.

It's the third time Benfica has reached the final, having been runner-up in 1983 and last year, when the Portuguese side was beaten by Chelsea.

In the May 14 final back in Turin, Benfica will face Sevilla, which scored in added time of a 3-1 loss at Valencia to advance on the away goal rule.

With Diego Maradona watching from the tribune, Juventus controlled for long periods and came close to scoring the lone goal it needed.

Andrea Pirlo shot high eight minutes in and a bicycle-kick attempt from Carlos Tevez also went high in the 24th.

In the 43rd, a header from defender Leonardo Bonucci went just wide following a free kick from Pirlo, and Tevez couldn't quite reach it at the far post.

In first-half added time, Paul Pogba inspired another chance for Juventus, leading to a header from Vidal that beat Oblak, but defender Luisao cleared the danger off the line.

Continue reading this story on the...