Shakhtar Donetsk put in a spectacular performance against Real Madrid on Tuesday night. The Ukrainians nearly grabbed a famous victory on the night. However, a late goal from Antonio Rüdiger meant the match ended all square at 1-1.
Oleksandr Zubkov initially gave Shakhtar the lead within a minute of the second half. The Ukraine international put the ball into the back of the net with a header that was just out of the reach of Real defender Ferland Mendy. Oddly enough, Zubkov scored the goal against Real goalkeeper, and fellow Ukrainian, Andriy Lunin.
The aforementioned Rudiger managed to get his head onto the ball and score in the final minute of added time. Although there was a massive collision between the defender and Shakhtar’s goalkeeper, the ball bounced off of the post and into the net to level the scoreline.
While not getting all three points may be disappointing for the Ukrainians, the team’s performance was brilliant. Prior to the match, which was played in Poland, Shakhtar’s sporting director Darijo Srna claimed that the team was playing the tough game for Ukraine.
“It is very difficult but they are all heroes,” proclaimed Srna. “They understand that they are all playing for Ukraine. They want to send some positive emotions to our army, to our friends, to our families. Today the whole Ukraine is watching this game and I’m proud of this team.”
“I’m really proud of this team,” he continued. “We are doing something amazing. We are showing the world how to fight for our country.”
Heroic Shakhtar Donetsk get a point off Real Madrid
Obviously based in the city of Donetsk, Shakhtar has had to move their base because of the Russian invasion. They have played domestic matches in Kyiv, which is further west from their city and Russia. However, the Ukrainian club has also made Lviv their temporary home as well.
Lviv is about 745 miles west of Donetsk and fairly close to the Polish border.
Nevertheless, Shakhtar previously signed a one-year agreement to play their European games in Warsaw, Poland. Domestic games inside Ukraine are currently being played without fans. But, like tonight, people can attend the Champions League fixtures in Poland.
Travel between the cities has been stressful for the club. Shakhtar has also postponed one match because of the long drive from Warsaw back to Ukraine each game. Srna stated that this weekend’s big league game against Dynamo Kyiv could also be affected because of the travel.
PHOTO: IMAGO / NewsPix
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