Did you say that the important thing is an unbreakable heart? Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk performed a miracle on the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Shakhtar, who had reached the threshold of elimination, reached the round of 16 in the 2022-23 European Football Federation (UEFA) Europa League.
Shakhtar scored 1-2 after extra time in the second leg of the 2022-23 UEFA Europa League playoff round away from Stade Rennes held at Roazon Parc in Rennes, France on the 24th (Korean time).
Shakhtar, who recorded a total of 3-3 against Rennes in the first and second games, secured a ticket to the round of 16 by winning 5-4 in a penalty shootout with seven players.
Shakhtar’s hometown, Donetsk, was occupied by Russia after the war in Ukraine. The prestigious Ukrainian club Shakhtar, which won the Ukrainian Premier League 13 times and won the UEFA Cup trophy in the 2008-09 season, is in such poor condition that it temporarily changed its home to Kiiu after May last year due to the Russian occupation of Donetsk.
This season, while playing the league in Kieu, they also qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Although they were pushed into the Europa League playoff round after finishing third in their group behind Real Madrid and RB Leipzig, the Shakhtar players, who celebrated the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, had no intention of being pushed back.
After winning the first leg 2-1 in Warsaw, Poland last week, Shakhtar played a tight game throughout the first half in the second leg away. However, in the 7th minute of the second half, Carl Toko Ekambi, who received an assist from Amin Guiri, opened the goal and fell behind 0-1. After all, the total was 2-2 and went into overtime.
In extra time, the match continued with Stad Rennes, but Shakhtar gave up the second goal to Ibrahim Salah as Jeremy Docu broke through the right side in the first minute of extra time. At this rate, the total score was 2-3, and Shakhtar was on the verge of being eliminated.
However, Shakhtar players did not give up until the end. The unbroken heart worked miracles. In the 14th minute of the second half of extra time, Neven Jurasek’s ball stabbed into the penalty area seemed to be caught by central defender Ginuel Velocian. However, the ball hit by Velocian’s foot led to an own goal. It was the moment when Shakhtar came back to life from elimination to death.
Shakhtar did not break even in the penalty shootout that started with Ren’s lead. Shakhtar took a 3-1 lead as goalkeeper Anatoly Trubin blocked shots from Ren’s second and third kickers Doku and Birger Meling. Ren’s number 4 kicker Guiri succeeded in the shootout, but if Shakhtar succeeded in one more, the game would end as it was.
However, as a twist of fate, Shakhtar’s 4th and 5th kickers, Valery Bondar and Danilo Shikan, both missed, making the score 3-3 and eventually going into sudden death. The mood was focused on Rennes, the home team that had barely escaped the brink of defeat.
But Shakhtar overcame even this. While all 6 kickers were successful, joy and sorrow were mixed at the 7th kicker. Rennes’ Leslie Ugochukuu’s shot was once again blocked by goalkeeper Trubin. Shakhtar got a dramatic win when Kevin Kelsey shook Ren’s net.
Meanwhile, Manchester United defeated FC Barcelona and joined the Europa League round of 16 for the first time in 15 years since April 2008.
In the home game of the second leg held at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Manchester United gave up the opening goal with a penalty kick to Robert Lewandowski in the 18th minute of the first half, but Fred and Anthony scored consecutive goals in the second half to win 2-1 and advance to the round of 16 with 1 win and 1 draw.
It has been 15 years since Manchester United won 1-0 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final in April 2008, when Park Ji-sung played an active role. On the other hand, Barcelona suffered the humiliation of not reaching the round of 16 in European club competitions for the first time in 37 years after failing to advance to the round of 16 of the European Cup Winners Cup in the 1984-85 season.
In addition, Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma joined the round of 16 with a reversal in the second game after defeating the first game. Juventus, Sporting CP, Sevilla and Union Berlin also secured tickets to the round of 16.안전놀이터
As a result, in addition to Manchester United, Leverkusen, Union Berlin, Juventus, Roma, Sporting CP, Sevilla, and Shakhtar, Fenerbahce, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Feyenore Rotterdam, Arsenal, Winion Saint-Giloise, and Fry, who finished first in the Europa League group stage, Burg will compete to advance to the quarterfinals.