Donbass Arena: six years since the opening match
September 27, 2009 is a special date in the history of Shakhtar. On that day, the Pitmen formalised their new home address by playing the first match at the 50,000-capacity Donbass Arena.
In that encounter, the Donetsk team met in the Ukrainian League with Kyiv-based Obolon. He charges of Mircea Lucescu beat the Brewers 4-0. The first goal at the new stadium was scored by Jadson - in the 18th minute from the spot. The other three were notched up by Ilsinho, Kobin and Willian. Incidentally, the scorer of the first goal was predicted by the supporters of Shakhtar long before the match. The team’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho also guessed him right.
Of the players who took part in the opening match, in the Pitmen’s current team squad remain Andriy Pyatov, Darijo Srna, Vasyl Kobin, Yaroslav Rakitskyy, Oleksandr Gladkyy and Vitaliy Vytsenets.
The opening match was not record-breaking in terms of attendance. The game against Obolon was attended by 42,800 spectators. A real sell-out happened was the match against Dynamo, which was held on September 2, 2012. The derby involving the Kyiv team was attended by 53,423 football fans.
Interestingly, since its opening the Donbass Arena became the home ground not only for Shakhtar. It repeatedly played host to the games of Ukraine national team. And back in 2012, the Arena hosted the European Championship games.