Shakhtar takes UEFA Cup with win over Bremen  

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Shakhtar Donetsk have become the first Ukrainian team to win the UEFA Cup by beating Werder Bremen after extra-time in Istanbul this evening.

In the last ever UEFA Cup final, the two sides could not be split over 90 minutes and Rodrigues Jadson was the late hero for Shakhtar as he grabbed the winner in extra-time.

The Ukrainian's actually began the game the better of the two teams and Luiz Adriano should have got them off to the perfect start after five minutes but he smashed wide from the edge of the box with just the 'keeper to beat.

The Brazilian soon atoned for his miss though as he latched onto a through ball behind the defence and calmly chipped over the onrushing Tim Wiese to give Shakhtar the lead.

The Ukrainians were rarely troubled at the back but they gifted Werder an equaliser when Andriy Pyatov palmed a relatively straightforward free kick from Naldo into his own net.

After the break, neither side created any clear cut chances and just like the last European final held in Istanbul, Liverpool against AC Milan, the game went to extra-time.

This time the deadlock was broken after the interval though as Jadson got on the end of a cross from Darijo Srna and finished past Wiese from close-range.

Even though Alexandros Tziolis went close in the second-half of extra-time, Werder could not draw level again as Shakhtar won the first European title in their history.

With the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium a sea of colour, the game started at a decent pace and Shakhtar should have had the lead within five minutes. A lovely flowing move from the Brazilian contingent of the Ukrainian team ended with Ilsinho finding Luiz Adriano wide open in the box, but he drove his shot wide of the near post with Tim Wiese rooted to the spot.

Werder took some time to get into the game and find some possession and the defence was split open a couple of times by some incisive breaks from Shakhtar. Fortunately for the Germans, the crossing was less than impressive from their opponents and Thomas Schaaf started to look more relaxed on the bench as his side enjoyed some of the ball.

Just as the game seemed to be balancing out though, Shakhtar took the lead as Luiz Adriano atoned for his previous miss with a delightful finish. Somehow the Brazilian received the ball through two Werder defenders and after taking a couple of touches towards goal, he delicately chipped over the onrushing Wiese to send the Ukrainian fans into wild celebrations.

Minutes after the goal, and with his confidence up, Luiz Adriano could have doubled the lead when he cut inside from the left and shot, but his effort was well over the bar. Despite not troubling Andriy Pyatov too much, Werder did look dangerous coming forward, mainly with balls into the box, and they leveled with ten minutes left in the half.

A free kick from 30 yards out would have usually had Diego's name written all over it but instead it was Naldo who drilled it at goal and produced an awful error from the 'keeper. With the ball coming nearly directly at him with plenty of pace, Pyatov decided to palm it rather than punch the ball away, but did so straight into the back of the net, gifting Werder an equaliser.

Even though Srna tried to lift his 'keeper with a high-five, he looked nervy a few minutes later as he came out and flapped at a cross from the right wing. At the other end, Wiese was forced into a brilliant one handed stop from a Mariusz Lewandowski rocket from 30 yards and Clemens Fritz had to clear from under his own bar as the half came to an end.

After the break, the Werder goalkeeper was busy again as he had to dive to his right to make a decent save from a Rodrigues Jadson free kick. Young Mesut Ozil showed flashes of his talent as he burst away down the right and crossed for Markus Rosenberg, only for the Swede to see his shot from the penalty spot well blocked.

With the game perfectly poised, Luiz Adriano very nearly grabbed a second when he turned brilliantly on the edge of the box, but Naldo did well to block his goal-bound shot. Along with the rest of the Werder backline the Brazilian looked solid and Shakhtar struggled to break them down and create any clear cut chances.

Likewise, Werder didn't threaten Pyatov's goal too often and only when Claudio Pizarro flicked on a free kick towards the bottom corner in the 78th minute was the 'keeper finally called into action in the second-half. As the clock ticked down, both teams seemed resigned to extra-time, and when referee Luis Medina Cantalejo, standing in his last European match, did finally blow his whistle, the pace had slowed dramatically.

Any fears that game would peter out towards penalties were soon brushed aside though as another goalkeeping mistake, this time from Wiese, saw the deadlock broken. Srna was the man with the assist as he crossed from the right and even though Jadson hit his shot well from around the penalty spot, the Werder 'keeper should have done better than let it slip through his grasp and into the net.

Werder nearly hit back straight away but Pizarro's near post shot was well kept out by Pyatov, and as the half came to a close Willian tried an ambitious lob over Wiese from 35 yards, but saw it go just over the bar. With just 15 minutes left in the match and holding the lead, Shakhtar began to run the clock down and only Alexandros Tziolis went close for Werder with a shot from outside the box, before the referee called time on the match and the UEFA Cup as a competition.


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