Derlei delight for Sporting
Sporting made it through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with a win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Last Updated: 04/11/08 11:04pm
Sporting Lisbon made it through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history, courtesy of substitute Vanderlei Derlei's late winner against Shakhtar Donetsk.
An instantly forgettable game was decided by its one moment of genuine quality, as veteran striker Derlei showed poise and precision after Marat Izmailov demonstrated fine wing wizardry down the right in the 73rd minute.
The first half may well be used as evidence by those that feel the Champions League is no longer the competition it once was, as both sides toiled but produced little - if anything - worthy of mention.
A bad tempered affair was punctuated by the odd poor challenge or even worse, theatrical roll, as Shakhtar's orange shirts proved to be the only bright spark on offer.
It was the Ukrainian side that had the better of the possession as an expectant Estadio Jose Alvalade faithful quickly became frustrated by the paucity of Sporting's quality in attack.
Helder Postiga went close to connecting with a whipped delivery from the right, before the former Tottenham striker survived a half hearted penalty appeal when Shakhtar claimed he had handled in his own box.
Shakhtar's Brandao will feel he should have done better than head meekly for goal when well place, while the closest either side came to scoring in the first half came in stoppage time, when Izmailov fired into the side netting after Liedson had been denied from close range.
Sporting improved after the interval as Liedson sprung to life in the final third, first in going close on the turn from no more than five yards, before rifling just wide from the edge of the box.
Shakhtar's attacking forays became few and far between as Willian hit straight into the chest of Rui Patricio, as a partisan Lisbon crowd began to rally their troops.
Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso asserted control of proceedings in the centre of midfield for the home side, with both players flashing efforts wide.
As Shakhtar increasingly found themselves on the back foot, it was left for substitute Derlei to steal the applause, as he showed all his predatory instincts in instantly controlling Izmailov's cross before firing home from around 12 yards.
|Sporting Lisbon||Team Statistics||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||5|