Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Werder loses UEFA Cup final to Shakhtar Donetsk

The Green-Whites hopes for UEFA Cup ended with a 2-1 added-time loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in Istanbul. For Werder, the night will be remembered for missed opportunities and deeply hampered with the loss of Diego and Hugo Almeida. As difficult as it sounds for Thomas Schaaf's side it could be a "shape of things to come" with Diego apparently off to Juventus but without the Brazilian playmaker the Werder attack rarely materialized. The highly promising Mesut Özil will in-time be a superb attacking leader but that time is still a few years off, if he can ever match Diego's expertise. That aside, Werder must pick it self off the ground and ready for the main target of next weeks DFB Pokal final.

Shakhtar took the lead via a counter five minutes before the half hour as Răzvan Raţ sent a long ball to Luiz Adriano, who flicked over Werder keeper Tim Wiese. Only ten minute later the match was level on a soft goal as Naldo's free kick from thirty metres bounced of Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov and in. For the balance of regulation time Tim Wiese was the hero of Werder's day saving a few notable attempts but otherwise the Shahktar keeper had an easier night. The Ukrainian side claimed the trophy via a goal seven minutes into added time as Darijo Srna sent a perfect cross from the right corner to Jadson, who fired the ball in off Tim Wiese's mitts from twelve metres. Despite efforts to level it wasn't to be be and the match ended in defeat.

There was naturally the faces of dejection all around. The disappointment of defeat is of-course, natural yet through it all it was a brilliant run in which Werder can be proud of their effort.