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Liedson makes the difference in Donetsk

Published: Thursday 23 October 2008, 0.52CET
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Only recently returned from a five-month injury absence, Liedson struck with 14 minutes left to edge a game the home side had dominated in Donetsk.
by Paul Saffer
Liedson makes the difference in Donetsk
Liedson celebrates his goal ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 23 October 2008, 0.52CET

Liedson makes the difference in Donetsk

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 0-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Only recently returned from a five-month injury absence, Liedson struck with 14 minutes left to edge a game the home side had dominated in Donetsk.

Liedson struck with 14 minutes left to give Sporting Clube de Portugal a priceless victory in UEFA Champions League Group C.

Liedson winner
FC Shakhtar Donetsk had the better of the game in Ukraine, with Marcelo Moreno a particular threat. But a clever back-heel from Derlei set up Liedson to claim only his second goal since his recent comeback from a serious knee injury, and move Sporting three points clear of their opponents in second place. Another victory when these sides meet again in Lisbon on 4 November will take them into the knockout phase unless FC Basel 1893 win at FC Barcelona.

Moreno chance
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu was forced into changes by injuries to Brazilians Ilsinho and Luiz Adriano, giving him the chance to hand Bolivian striker Moreno his group-stage debut while midfielder Jadson also came in. That pair proved lively early on as Shakhtar had the best of the opening exchanges. In the first four minutes Jadson had a free-kick saved by Rui Patrício and Moreno ran on to a long ball from Răzvan Raţ, selected at left-back ahead of Vyacheslav Shevchuk, but the forward was also denied by Sporting's 20-year-old No1.

Pressure resisted
Anderson Polga did well to clear a Moreno header off the line as the striker connected with an accurate Raţ cross, and Shakhtar were pushing hard. Tomáš Hübschman found Moreno on the half-hour but he could not force the ball in as Sporting held fast and the rest of the first period was something of a stalemate. As the second period began Shakhtar were back on the offensive, mustering two early chances. Brandão's opportunist shot went just over, as did Moreno's header following yet another excellent centre from Raţ. Sporting had offered little in return but finally worked an opening after excellent work from João Moutinho, his cross directed wide by Liedson. Shakhtar remained on top, through, and Moreno found Jadson for a long-range shot that deflected off Tonel, who was relieved to see Rui Patrício dive and save at a stretch.

Brandão eluded
The goalkeeper would have been powerless if Brandão had got his foot on a low ball across goal from Darijo Srna soon afterwards, but the Brazilian was just unable to connect at the far post. The relentless pressure began to ease, so Lucescu replaced Moreno and Jadson with the even more youthful Olexandr Gladkiy and Willian. Paulo Bento responded by bringing on left-back Leandro Grimi for Marat Izmailov and, against the run of play, Sporting took the lead.

Decisive goal
Fábio Rochemback's free-kick was picked up by Derlei to the left of goal; it seemed he had no way through but his back-heel surprised the Shakhtar defence and Liedson pounced to score his 18th UEFA competition goal, equalling Sporting's club record. Shakhtar did not give up but, having been denied points when they conceded two late goals against Barcelona on Matchday 2, tonight they are again coming to terms with home defeat.

Last updated: 23/10/08 2.31CET

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