November 25, 2020

Bounou makes history as Sevilla dump Saiss’ Wolves out of Europa League

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The Moroccan goalkeeper saved Raul Jimenez’s penalty as Los Nervionenses qualified for the competition’s semis at the expense of the English team

Sevilla defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 on Tuesday to earn a Europa League semi-final berth, with Yassine Bounou saving a penalty kick.

In a clash involving three Moroccans at the MSV-Arena, it was Lucas Ocampos who decided the game with his late strike.

Wolves had the chance to take an early lead after Diego Carlos hacked down Adama Traore from behind. However, goalkeeper Bounou stopped Jimenez’s tame effort before Joao Moutinho sliced the rebound wide.

Thanks to that save, the former Wydad Casablanca and Atletico Madrid shot-stopper became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty for the La Liga outfit in the Europa League. He is the second African to save a penalty in the Europa League since Rais M’bolhi (Algeria) for CSKA Sofia against Porto in December 2010.

For Jimenez, the penalty miss was his first for the English Premier League outfit across competitions.

After a goalless first-half, the Spaniards continued to dominate and almost took the lead after 62 minutes through Youssef En-Nesyri. After a sustained spell of Sevilla pressure down their right flank, the ball dropped to the forward on the edge of the box, but he could only prod the ball into the waiting hands of Rui Patricio after being crowded out.

With the game looking to be heading for extra-time, Julen Lopetegui’s team booked their place in the last four thanks to Ocampos’ strike two minutes from full-time.

Receiving the ball from Suso, Ever Banega sent a terrific ball into the area for the Argentine midfielder to head past goalkeeper Patricio.

While Bounou held sway in goal throughout, his compatriot En-Nesyri was replaced after 85 minutes by Luuk de Jong.

Morocco’s Romain Saiss was on parade from start to finish for Wolves, albeit, he was cautioned in the 49th minute by referee Daniele Orsato for clattering into Suso.

Wolves, whose European adventure started 13 months and 17 games ago, had too little time to respond and Sevilla saw things through to book a date with Odion Ighalo’s Manchester United in the semi-final.

The winner of that encounter on Sunday night will take on either Victor Moses’ Inter Milan or Shakhtar Donetsk in the tournament’s final.