Sevilla move a step closer to playing for 6th Europa League crown

Sports Desk, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- A precision header by Lucas Ocampos in the 88th minute was enough for five-time Europa League winners Sevilla to prevail Tuesday over Wolverhampton and set up a semifinal clash with Manchester United.

Shakhtar Donetsk routed Basel 4-1 in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal and will battle Inter Milan for the chance to hoist the Europa League trophy for a second time, though the Ukrainian club’s first triumph in the competition came when it was still called the UEFA Cup.

Sevilla came into their first-ever meeting with Wolves riding an 18-game undefeated streak.

The Spanish club, who have won the Europa League on each of the five previous occasions they reached the quarterfinals, faced a Premier League side who last made it to the final eight of a European competition in 1972.

Yet Wolves were better in the early going and Raul Jimenez forced a stop from Sevilla goalkeeper Bono inside the 1st minute and Leander Dendoncker put a shot just over the cross-bar in the 4th.

Seven minutes later, Wolverhampton’s Adama Traore burst into the area, drawing a foul from Diego Carlos. The referee pointed to the spot and ace-penalty-taker Jimenez stood over the ball.

But the Mexican international who had converted on each of his 26 penalties in official club matches sent the ball right to Bono.

Wolves then ceded the ball to Sevilla, who ended the night with 76 percent possession, yet the Spanish side struggled to convert that domination into chances.

Sevilla created more danger for Wolves keeper Rui Patricio in the second half, but he proved equal to the task, denying Youssef En-Nesyri and Jules Kounde before saving a tremendous free kick from Ever Banega.

The game appeared headed for extra-time when Banega delivered a great cross into the box and Ocampos beat Patricio to send Sevilla to the semifinals.

While Sevilla supporters endured a nail-biter, Shakhtar’s fans watched their team take the lead over Basel in just the 2nd minute on a goal by Junior Moraes on a free header off a corner.

Basel, known more for defense than their attack, proved capable of reacting. Arthur Cabral nearly equalized in the 4th minute and Afimico Pululu beat two Shakhtar defenders in the 12th before seeing his shot deflected wide.

But Shakhtar soon reclaimed the initiative.

Faison scored in the 22nd minute to make it 2-0 and only the cross-bar stopped Shakhtar’s Marco Antonio from extending the advantage five minutes before half-time.

With 15 minutes left, Alan Patrick sealed the victory for Shakhtar, converting from the spot after Yannick Marchand fouled Taison in the area.

Dodo made it 4-0 in the 88th before Ricky van Wolfswinkel got a consolation goal for Basel in stoppage time. EFE


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