It couldn't have been any other way. Sevilla FC lifted their tenth trophy - out of the twelve contested - of the Antonio Puerta Trophy tonight, a special edition sponsored by UEFA and CONMEBOL, which involved the pilot edition of the UEFA-CONMEBOL Club Challenge in Nervión. In a match where the Ecuadorians showed a well-defined style, an early goal by Lautaro Díaz made things difficult. However, Mendilibar's team gradually took control of the game and deservedly equalized. The goal came through Pedro Ortiz in injury time. In the penalty shootout, destiny repeated the memorable 4-1 result from Budapest, as Dmitrovic saved two shots and the Sevilla players scored all of theirs: Jordán, Iván Romero, Idrissi, and Papu Gómez.
In front of the home crowd, Sevilla didn't hesitate to try and dominate their opponent and have more possession of the ball. However, they faced a team with clear ideas and a much higher level of fitness, as they will be competing in the Copa Libertadores round of 16 in just two weeks. Papu Gómez tested Moisés Ramírez from distance with a powerful shot, which the goalkeeper managed to save. Within nine minutes Lautaro Díaz, outpaced his marker and found himself one on one with Dmitrovic, slotting the ball low past the goalkeeper. Sevilla wanted the ball and tried to build up play, but the physical intensity from the visiting team prevented them from finding space in the final third
Lautaro Díaz quickly gave the Ecuadorian side the lead
On the half hour mark, once the hydration break had been completed on a very hot night, Suso found two chances to equalise with his trademark curling shot from outside the area. Unfortunately, the first went over the top of the bar and the second, much better placed, ended up going wide. Independiente del Valle slowed down near half-time, but they had another chance from a set-piece when Sornoza's free-kick ended up in the corner after bouncing off the wall and skimming Dmitrovic's right-hand post. In the second half Sevillia began to gain more and more control of the game, although they were unable to find an equaliser. Kike Salas had a chance on the hour mark, but his shot from Óliver's cross from the left was ruled offside. Later on, Mendilibar brought on Idrissi and Gattoni in place of Suso and the other debutant of the night, the in-form Pedrosa.
Pedrosa's debut stood out, Juanlu's positivity and Idrissi's directness
Sevilla dominated the last quarter of an hour of the game with Independiente del Valle defending deep and with few options to counterattack. With the freshness of Pedro Ortiz and Iván Romero up front, chances began to pile up. Isaac had clear opportunities with his head, Idrissi with a difficult angle, Óliver with a quick shot, and Pedro Ortiz, who chose to pass it back when he had the goal at his mercy due to a poor goalkeeping mistake. However, he redeemed himself in injury time with another good play by Idrissi, who intentionally crossed from the left. A defender tried to clear the ball, but it fell to Pedro Ortiz, who didn't miss at the back post to equalize and force the penalty shootout. In the shootout, Sevilla scored all their penalties and Dmitrovic had a great performance, saving two penalties. A well-deserved victory on a special night that strengthens the team as they build for the season ahead. This Thursday, they will have a rest before departing for Germany on Friday, where they will play two more games over the weekend.