FC Shakhtar Donetsk equalled their best start to a UEFA Champions League campaign as they made it two Group H wins out of two with an emphatic victory at SC Braga.
The home team gave an excellent account of themselves following their heavy Matchday 1 defeat at Arsenal FC on their competition debut, but two second-half strikes by Luiz Adriano and a late Douglas Costa spot-kick enabled Mircea Lucescu's side to extend their fine record in Portugal to three wins from five visits. They go into their double-header with Arsenal in high spirits, while Braga try to salvage their campaign in two matches with FK Partizan.
Domingos Paciência's charges were determined to right the wrongs of London and almost took the lead in the third minute, Moisés' firm header from Luís Aguiar's corner headed off the line by the experienced Răzvan Raţ. Shakhtar had more of the ball but their first real glimpse of goal took until the 21st minute to arrive. Felipe's punch from a corner fell to captain Darijo Srna, but the Croatian international was off-balance and skied his shot.
It was turning out to be a tight contest but Alan crafted a rare opening just before the half-hour. He finished a weaving run in from the right with a reverse ball to Leandro Salino, whose shot was blocked by Andriy Pyatov's legs.
With Alan, Aguiar and Salino all exerting an influence in midfield, the home side began to gain the upper hand. Sílvio's shot dipped just over then Salino came closest yet moments before the break, steering Matheus' fine low cross wide after his fellow Brazilian had stormed up the right.
As the second half began the hunted sought to become the hunter. On 50 minutes Shakhtar came close when Willian's cross fizzed across the face of goal untouched. Lucescu's men grew in stature and took the lead in the 56th minute. Douglas Costa's clever reverse pass split the Braga central pairing of Moisés and Paulão, and Luiz Adriano's shot had too much power for Felipe to stop it creeping in.
The Arsenalistas responded with heart, Matheus' spectacular overhead effort being blocked by Pyatov. Minutes later the goalkeeper was at it again, diving to stop Paulo César's strike. Shakhtar held firm, and doubled their lead on 72 minutes in similar style, Costa again supplying the pass for Adriano to fire in. Costa got the goal he deserved in added time, coolly converting from the spot after Willian had been fouled by Paulo César.
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