UEFA Cup: Sevilla enters final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/football1.jpg' class='caption'> Substitute midfielder Antonio Puerta scored in the 11th minute of extra time for Sevilla to beat Schalke 1-0 and move into its first UEFA Cup final.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Substitute midfielder Antonio Puerta scored in the 11th minute of extra time for Sevilla to beat Schalke 1-0 on Thursday and move into its first UEFA Cup final. Puerta rifled his shot in from the left of Schalke's goal to give the Spanish team a 1-0 aggregate victory at its Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. Sevilla will play Middlesbrough in the final on May 10 in Eindhoven, Netherlands, after the English club eliminated Steaua Bucharest hours earlier. Sevilla, which won its only Spanish league title 60 years ago, has never previously appeared in any European final in its 101-year history. The final whistle was greeted by a firework display just outside the stadium, while thousands of delighted Sevilla supporters invaded the field to celebrate. Ramos said he preferred to be playing Middlesbrough and not Steaua. Schalke coach Mirko Slomka said his team wasn't ``bad losers'' and congratulated Sevilla. Roared on by a capacity 45,000-strong crowd which set off firecrackers and red flares before the game, Sevilla began brightly with strikers Luis Fabiano and Javier Saviola each shooting narrowly wide. Attacking back The German team, which won its only UEFA Cup in 1997, then mounted a series of attacking raids. Luis Fabiano had Sevilla's best chance of the half when he shot just wide of goalkeeper Frank Rost's left post on a swift counterattack in the 23rd minute. Sevilla 'keeper Andres Palop saved Gerald Asamoah's low shot in the 61st, and then deprived striker Kevin Kuranyi of a shooting chance six minutes later. Schalke midfielder Fabian Ernst shot over the crossbar in the 87th in the last chance of regulation time. After Puerta's goal, the German team searched for an equalizer which would have taken it through to the final on away goals - but Palop made several stops. A Spanish club will meet an English club in the Champions League final too, with FC Barcelona playing Arsenal on May 18 at Stade de France.(AP)

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