Ilsinho winner puts Shakhtar into UEFA Cup final
With a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev
Brazilian Ilsinho grabbed a superb late winner to put Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Shakhtar, who won 3-2 on aggregate after the second leg of the semi-final, became the first Ukrainian team to reach the final where they face Werder Bremen in Istanbul on May 20.
"We achieved something great today," said Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu. "We`re now a part of the history of European football. The fact we`ll play in Istanbul means so much for us."
"It was a tough game as Dynamo were at their best as well. The result is just and deserved. The fans were treated to both a show and a battle," he added on the UEFA website (www.uefa.com).
Werder went through on the away goals rule after a 3-2 win at Hamburg SV gave them a 3-3 draw on aggregate.
Ilsinho`s fellow Brazilian Jadson put Shakhtar ahead after 17 minutes in Donetsk with a fine shot into the top corner from the edge of the box as Dynamo`s defence failed to clear a cross from the right by the home team`s Croatian captain Darijo Srna.
Dynamo`s heads dropped after the goal and Shakhtar, who have reached their first European final, dominated possession.
Dynamo, twice winners of the now defunct Cup Winners` Cup, had a goal disallowed for offside by Ognjen Vukojevic in the 38th minute but this sparked their strong finish to the first half and they came out fighting after the break.
The Kiev side`s Guinea striker Ismael Bangoura equalised within two minutes with a slick goal from just outside the area having been put through by playmaker Olexandr Aliyev.
However, with the match heading towards extra time, Ilsinho raced on to a long punt out of defence, rounded two defenders on the right and placed a perfect left-foot shot out of the reach of keeper Stanislav Bogush into the far corner for the winner.
"We made two mistakes while Shakhtar made none. That is why we lost tonight," said Dynamo coach Yuri Semin. "Everyone who was on the pitch today has something to reproach himself for."
"But there was nothing wrong with the level of commitment from my players. They prepared well and looked good physically, but we also have to remember Shakhtar are a very strong side."
The fierce battle between the domestic league rivals produced six yellow cards and defender Tomas Huebschman will miss the final through suspension after a second-half booking.
It is the second year in a row that a team from the former Soviet bloc has reached the final. Zenit St Petersburg won the trophy last year.