Through to the quarter-finals!
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
On August 5th, Shakhtar hosted Wolfsburg in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie
The first leg took place back in March in Germany and ended in the Miners’ 2-1 victory, while the second leg was postponed for nearly five months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the team of Luis Castro managed to win the league title and devote the last two and a half weeks to their preparation for the European competition. Wolfsburg had their last competitive game 40 days ago, ending their Bundesliga campaign in the seventh spot. In the Miners’ starting line-up, we would like to mention Mykola Matviienko's appearance at left-back (with the pairing of centrebacks represented by Sergii Kryvtsov and David Khocholava).
Lacking just goals
The Miners started the match with confident ball control and in the first half they looked much more interesting than their opponents, creating lots of dangerous chances near Casteels’ goal. In the opening stages, the German goalkeeper rescued his side after Patrick’s long-range attempt, then the visiting defenders did not allow Marlos to shoot from outside the penalty area and blocked Moraes' attempt. Wolfsburg responded with Victor’s dangerous cross, but Ginczek and Brekalo did not decide on the finisher. And yet, it was the Orange-and-Blacks who were closer to scoring one: Marlos tricked his opponent in the penalty area and struck inside the near corner just to see the goalpost rescue the visitors! Matviienko could have opened the scoring next, but Casteels reacted to his volley-kick. Moraes was also unlucky - he was completing a great move of his teammates, flicking it just inches wide. The teams left for the break without any goals scored.
The second half started with another series of dangerous chances from Shakhtar. Marlos brought the ball into the penalty area and fed Moraes on his right - Junior's point-blank attempt hit the goalkeeper. Casteels also saved the long-range attempt of Marlos, meanwhile Taison simply had to net one after finding himself one on one with the keeper – it whizzed just inches off the post. The visitors got their chances after earning two free-kicks - on both occasions, Andriy Pyatov rescued his side by saving the most powerful strikes of Brekalo. Midway through the second half, the teams exchanged sendings-off instead of goals. In the 68th minute, the referee showed a straight red card to Khocholava, levelling the line-ups a few minutes later after sending Brooks off for another gross violation. In the 77th minute, Luis Castro fielded Solomon who immediately created danger near the goal by raising the pace. And the denouement came at the very end: Manor distracted three Wolfsburg players and passed it to the unmarked Dodo, with the Brazilian crossing it to Moraes and hammering the ball into the back of the net. In stoppage time, Solomon himself scored one after Konoplyanka provided an assist, and two minutes later Moraes sealed the emphatic win by intercepting the ball in the opposing half, getting one on one and grabbing a brace!
3-0 in Kyiv and 5-1 on aggregate. Shakhtar beat Wolfsburg and will face Basel or Eintracht in the quarter-finals. The opponents will be drawn on August 6. The knockout quarterfinal will take place in Germany on August 11th.
Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 (0-0) Wolfsburg
Kyiv, NSC Olimpiyskiy, behind closed doors
Goals: 1-0 Moraes (89’), 2-0 Solomon (90+1’), 3-0 Moraes (90+3’)
Shakhtar: Pyatov (c), Matviienko, Khocholava, Kryvtsov, Dodo, Stepanenko, Marcos Antonio (Kovalenko, 74’), Alan Patrick, Taison (Konoplyanka, 86’), Marlos (Tete, 77’), Moraes
Sent off: Khocholava (68’), Brooks (70’)
More details can be found in the match centre.