Thursday, April 16, 2009

dream semi-final comes true

Following Dynamo Kyiv's 3-0 destruction of PSG, Shakhtar Donetsk made the dream all-Ukraine UEFA Cup semi-final come true with comfortable 2-1 victory over Marseille. Although Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu has warned of playing at the Stade Vélodrome, it proved little match for his side that won the aggregate 4-1.

Down by two goals in aggregate at the start of the match, Marseille went on the attack immediately, pressing Shakhtar into a defending cocoon. Yet for all of Marseille's attacking intent it was Shakhtar who took the lead at thirty minutes when Ilsinho set Fernandinho free, with the Brazilian closing out from the most improbable of angles as the Marseille 'keeper was off the post. The lead did not last long as two minutes before the break Marseille grabbed an equalizer as a cross by Charles Kaboré was headed-on by Ben Arfa and after the initial attempt was denied by Andriy Pyatov, he pounded the rebound in. Dominating in possession, Marseille would not find a way past Pyatov in the second half and in the third minute of added time Luiz Adriano made it 2-1 as he drove the ball Steve Mandanda's legs and into the net from eight metres.