Today, Spanish Football hosts Valencia CF beat their La Liga opponents, Sevilla FC, 3-1, in the second leg of their Europa League semifinal tie, but were eliminated on aggregate. The hosts won, but the final goal was the visitor's, a come-back score to tie 3-3 on aggregate with the one away goal for Sevilla as the difference.
The visitors had managed a 2-0 victory at home that seemed precarious then and would prove so early in the first half.
The game was rough affair from the 1:05 minute when Velencia's captain, Portuguese defender Ricardo Costa, elbowed Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca in the head when disputing a ball that had left their vicinity. The referee did not see it and the linesman made the call that resulted not in the requisite red card or even a yellow, but a simple foul.
Twelve minutes later (13:16) Sofiane Feghouli played a give and go with Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas that resulted in Feghouli taking a strong shot from close in as Sevilla's Portuguese goalkeeper Beto was going down to block. The ball ricocheted up and over the goalie's hands and into the net for the first goal.
Twelve minutes after that, at the 25:12 mark Brazilian striker Jonas was led beautifully into the box with a long and accurate left wing cross by Juan Bernat. Jonas caught it in full stride and headed forcefully and accurately toward goal. The ball beat Beto, hit the crossbar and dropped behind the line for the second score.
It took Valencia 25 minutes to undo what Sevilla needed 90 minutes to construct.
The game was intense but became more so with each Valencia score as the ref seemed unable to whistle for each of the numerous of fouls that actually occurred. The hands to the body technique of stopping opponents' progress was a favorite all half long.
At the 41st minute Bacca decided enough time had elapsed for his retaliation to go unsuspected and when he was standing next to Costa and a ball came their way the Sevilla striker elbowed the Valencia defender in the stomach bowing him over for a few minutes. The ref did not see the action, and neither did the linesman.
As the half came to a close the score was all tied up on aggregate 2-2 with the finals up for grabs. At half-time of the other semifinal, being played simultaneously in Turin, hosts Juventus and visitors Benfica were tied at 0-0, with their tie at 2-1 for Benfica on aggregate.
The second half began as intensely as the first had ended. With opportunities coming and going and the feeling goals were still to come.
At the 69th minute a corner kick saw an errant header find Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu alone at the near post and he thunders it in from close range for the 3-0 advantage.
At the 75th minute two Sevilla strikers were taken down in the box during a corner but neither is caught by any of the officials.
At the 90th minute, after countless home team delay tactics the ref adds five minutes of stoppage time.
At the 94th minute Sevilla's Stephan Mbia heads in a powerful header off a long throw in and an original header back into the box. The score is now tied 3-3 but the visitors have the away goal advantage.
As the game came to a close the home fans were in disbelief, as were the players and coaches from both sides. Sevilla was the deserving winner and will meet Benfica--who beat Juventus on the previous game's score as aggregate--in Turin for the Europa League trophy.