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Chelsea captures 1st Europa League title


International Sports Desk, May 15 (EFE).- Chelsea captured its first-ever UEFA Europa League title with a 2-1 victory over Benfica in Amsterdam, winning Wednesday's final in dramatic fashion with an injury-time goal by Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic.

The Lisbon side clearly dominated play during the first half, yet failed to get on the scoreboard due to numerous missed chances in the area.

Despite being thoroughly outplayed, Chelsea nearly opened the scoring in the 38th minute on a powerful strike from outside the penalty area by Frank Lampard.

But a brilliant save by Benfica goalkeeper Artur, who managed to tip the ball away despite leaning in the wrong direction, kept the ball out of the net.

The second half started with more domination by Benfica, but the London team managed to get on the scoreboard first with a goal by Spain's Fernando Torres, who dribbled around Artur before depositing the ball in the net.

Benfica fired back eight minutes later when Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo converted a penalty kick, but Ivanovic clinched victory for Chelsea just before the end of regulation with a header in minute 93.

The victory gives Chelsea its first-ever title in Europe's second most prestigious international club soccer competition after the UEFA Champions League.

The London club won the 2011-2012 Champions League title but failed to defend its crown when it was eliminated in the knockout stage this season.