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Repeat Champion Sevilla Sounds Out Across Europe

It was some final at Hampden Park Wedenesday night, as La Liga pretender FC Sevilla overcame Espanyol of Barcelona, 3-1, on penalties to lift its second successive UEFA Cup. Sevilla controlled the play in an open, attack-minded game as the 10 men from Espanyol defended doggedly, twice battling back to draw the match level.

Following the dismissal of Moises Hurtado in the 68th minute for a second yellow card, it was all Sevilla, but Espanyol defended well enough to bring the match, tied 1-1, into extra time. In the first period, the Analucians launched wave after wave of attack at the Espanyol goal, drawing three fines saves from keeper Gorka Iraizoz until Freddy Kanoute's 105th-minute tap-in at the near post. Espanyol's unlikely equalizer came 10 minutes later as Brazilian substitute Jonatas unleashed an unstoppable 23-yard strike that skipped past Andres Palop in the driving rain.

In the end, Palop, the Sevilla keeper, was the hero, however, stopping three penalties to ensure that Sevilla became just the second team in UEFA Cup history to win back-to-back titles. "I want Sevilla's name to sound out all over Europe," Palop said after match. And how it has: the UEFA Cup champions is just three points outside of first place in the Spanish league with another final looming on June 24 against Getafe in the Copa del Rey. A win in those competitions would earn the Spanish side an unprecedented treble.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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