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Bacca scores double as Sevilla wins Europa League, beating Dnipro 3-2


WARSAW, Poland — Sevilla won the Europa League for a record fourth time on Wednesday, with two goals from Carlos Bacca earning a 3-2 win over Ukraine's Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the final.

The Spanish club came back from a goal down early in the first half to lead 2-1 through goals from first Grzegorz Krychowiak then Bacca, before a free-kick from Dnipro's Ruslan Rotan made it 2-2 at the break.

Bacca scored the 73rd-minute winner off a pass from Vitolo when Dnipro's defense struggled to clear the ball.

Late in the game, Dnipro's Brazilian winger Matheus was stretchered off after he collapsed suddenly on the pitch while play had stopped. His condition was not immediately clear.

The final whistle prompted tearful celebrations from Sevilla, which retains the title it won last season and earns a spot in next year's Champions League, a prize offered this season to the Europa League winner by UEFA for the first time.

That means there will be five Spanish teams in the Champions League next season, matching the record set by England in 2005-06.

Sevilla controlled the tempo of the game throughout and enjoyed the lion's share of the possession. But it was always vulnerable on the counter against a Dnipro team boasting the pacy Matheus and Yevhen Konoplyanka on the wings.

PHOTO: Sevilla supporters cheer during the final of the soccer Europa League between FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Sevilla FC at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Sevilla supporters cheer during the final of the soccer Europa League between FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Sevilla FC at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Dnipro coach Myron Markevych had opted to start Nikola Kalinic up front in place of Yevhen Seleznyov, who was the club's hero with goals against Napoli in the semifinals but had sustained an injury. That decision swiftly paid off as Kalinic slipped his marker on seven minutes to score with a downward header off a cross from Matheus, who had not been expected to start because of fitness problems.

Sevilla's response came on 28 minutes when Krychowiak equalized with a low right-footed shot after an extended period of Sevilla pressure, the Polish midfielder sparking wild celebrations among the many local fans in the Warsaw's National Stadium.

The goal came just minutes after Krychowiak had seen a header of his saved one-handed in acrobatic style by Dnipro keeper Denys Boyko.

Sevilla made it 2-1 just three minutes later, with Bacca springing the Dnipro offside trap and rounding keeper Boyko before slotting the ball low into the unguarded net.

Rotan's free kick ensured the teams went into the break level. Shooting from the edge of the box, the Dnipro captain seemed to confuse the Sevilla defense by taking his free-kick almost without a run-up, adding a wicked curl to take it past the wall and 21-year-old goalkeeper Sergio Rico.

After a quiet start to the second half, Sevilla's breakthrough came on 73 minutes when Jaba Kankava struggled to clear the ball and it fell to Vitolo, who played in Bacca with a smartly-weighted through-ball.

The Colombian lashed it low past Boyko for his seventh Europa League goal of the season, and was booked for a lengthy celebration in which he posed with his country's flag.

Soon after his goal, Bacca was inches away from a hat-trick, his header deflected by Boyko just over the bar and on to the top of the net. Bacca then sent a header wide from the resulting corner. He was then substituted, ending his hopes of a third goal.

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