Shakhtar down Apoel
Adriano and Seleznev on target in consolation win for Ukranians
Last Updated: 06/12/11 10:24pm
Luis Adriano: Missed a first-half penalty but bounced back to open the scoring in the second period
Apoel Nicosia qualified as UEFA Champions League Group G winners despite losing 2-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Cypriot side had already confirmed their place in the next round for the first time heading into the game, but Zenit St Petersburg's goalless draw with Porto meant they finished top of the pile, ahead of Zenit courtesy of a superior head-to-head record with the Russian side.
Shakhtar, meanwhile, were simply playing for pride and this win could not prevent them from finishing bottom, with third-placed Porto dropping into the Europa League.
Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano went from hero to villain for the Ukranian outfit, missing a first half penalty before volleying home the opener just after the hour mark.
Subsitute Yevgen Seleznev sealed the points for Mircea Lucescu's men with 12 minutes left, following up from close range after Fernandinho's shot from the edge of the box had been parried by Apoel 'keeper Urko Pardo.
Shakhtar started strongly and Willian shot over before he and Fernandinho were both denied by blocks from Paulo Jorge.
Marcelo Oliveira then blocked Vyacheslav Shevchuk's left-foot strike before the Ukrainians had their best chance yet to break the deadlock when Nektarios Alexandrou brought down Fernandinho in the penalty area.
The defender was booked but Luiz Adriano could not inflict further punishment, his weak penalty easily blocked by Pardo before Sanel Jahic got back to keep out the striker's follow-up.
Pardo fumbled Henrikh Mkhitaryan's 25-yard shot but did well to twice deny Willian, and then held Douglas Costa's fierce drive to keep his side on terms.
They finally mustered an attacking threat of their own with five minutes of the half remaining when Ivan Trickovski's shot was superbly saved by Olexandr Rybka in the Shakhtar goal. Rybka punched the resulting corner back to the set-piece taker, Marcinho, who shot over from 25 yards.
The second half began with Shakhtar forcing a free-kick and laying the ball to Konstantinos Charalambidis, who shot over.
Mkhitaryan dragged a shot across the face of goal and a Jahic block denied Douglas Costa before Paulo Jorge again put his body on the line to keep out Fernandinho.
But the breakthrough finally came in the 62nd minute, Shevchuk squaring for Luiz Adriano to find the net.
The pressure did not let up as Mkhitaryan and Douglas Costa both tried their luck from 20 yards, the latter warming Pardo's hands.
But Olexander Kucher had to be alert to clear Trickovski's effort and Yaroslav Rakitskiy then kept out substitute Tijani Belaid's shot to deny Apoel an equaliser.
Willian and Trickovski failed with 20-yard efforts before Shakhtar wrapped the game up.
Fernandinho's 30-yard effort was parried by Urko but Seleznev followed up to stroke the ball home from 12 yards.Apoel could not muster a response but nevertheless topped the group after Zenit's stalemate.
|Apoel Nicosia||Team Statistics||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|1||Shots on Target||10|
|2||Shots off Target||5|
|32.7||1st Half Poss.||67.3|
|45||2nd Half Poss.||55|
UEFA Champions League
Tue 6th Dec - Group H
Barcelona4 - 0BATE Borisov
Plzen2 - 2AC Milan
Tue 6th Dec - Group G
FC Porto0 - 0Zenit
Apoel Nicosia0 - 2Shak Donetsk
Tue 6th Dec - Group F
B Dortmund2 - 3Marseille
Olympiakos3 - 1Arsenal
Tue 6th Dec - Group E
Chelsea3 - 0Valencia
Genk1 - 1Leverkusen
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||3||4|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|1||Paris St Germain||3||7|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H