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Anderlecht 0 Shakhtar Donetsk 1 (1-4 agg): Eduardo sends visitors into quarter-finals

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Mar 2016

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Mircea Lucescu’s Shakhtar Donetsk booked a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after Eduardo’s late goal sealed a 1-0 win at Anderlecht, putting the gloss on a 4-1 aggregate triumph.

The Ukrainians had Oleksandr Kucher sent off six minutes from time, but had always looked comfortable sitting on their lead and Kara Mbodji was given his marching orders soon after to level the scores on that front.

Anderlecht had the ball in the net after 22 minutes, but Mbodji’s header was ruled out for a push on Facundo Ferreyra.

Stefano Okaka could have had a penalty after the interval when he was bundled over by Ferreyra, but the referee again ruled against the Belgian team.

Kucher and Mbodji were sent off in the closing stages before Eduardo tidily finished off a pass from Dentinho in the last seconds to seal the win.

Shakhtar last reached the quarter-finals of the competition in 2009 – the last year the tournament was known as the UEFA Cup – and they went on to lift the trophy following a 2-1 extra-time win against Werder Bremen.

The first chance fell to Steven Defour after eight minutes when a poor defensive clearance gave the midfielder an opening, but he dragged a long-range shot well wide.

Anderlecht thought they had reduced the deficit in the tie to one goal midway through the first half when Mbodji headed in a corner, but a foul was harshly given against the defender.

Silvio Proto made a fine save after 29 minutes, diving low to hit right to keep out Taison’s drive, before Olivier Deschacht shot well over the crossbar from Frank Acheampong’s cross.

A minute before half-time Ismaily should have put the tie out of Anderlecht’s reach, but he pulled a shot wide after Marlos found him in the box.

The first half was a scrappy affair, with Bram Nuytinck, Marlos, Defour and Kucher all being booked.

Anderlecht had been unbeaten at home in all competitions this season, but they were struggling to break the determined visitors down, although the hosts felt they could have had a penalty shortly after half-time.

Okaka went down under a clumsy challenge from Ferreyra, but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was unmoved.

Taison’s shot deflected over the crossbar after 63 minutes with Anderlecht committing an increasing number of men forward in a desperate bid to get back in the tie.

Proto palmed away a spectacular Taison effort with 10 minutes to go, while Kucher and Mbodji were sent off in the closing minutes, the former for a second booking and the latter for kicking out at Ferreyra.

Shakhtar’s winner came in the final minute of injury time, Eduardo squeezing home a shot after great work by Dentinho to create the chance.

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