Ukrainian side FC Shakhtar Donetsk picked up a single-goal victory against Russian title-holders FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, but it could have been more after the home side dominated the match.
From the start, Shakhtar took control against a side that reached last season's second group stage. Mariusz Lewandowski, Olexiy Bielik and Zvonimir Vukic all had first-half chances, only for the busy Lokomotiv goalkeeper, Sergei Ovchinnikov, to deny them each time. The visitors held on until half-time, but the pressure eventually told.
It was a penalty that finally separated the teams eleven minutes into the second period. Oleg Pashinine felled Bielik in the Lokomotiv area and Ovchinnikov was beaten by Vukic from the spot.
Shakhtar increased the pressure following the goal as Serhiy Popov headed wide from a corner and Bielik was unable to convert two one-on-ones. Lokomotiv held tight, though, and despite Pashinine's sending-off two minutes from the end for a second yellow card, they will welcome Shakhtar to Moscow in two weeks' time just one goal behind.
'Lokomotiv are still not beaten'
Shakhtar coach Bernd Schuster admitted after the game that he would have liked a bigger cushion for the return trip. "
It will be an entirely different game in Moscow, so I would have preferred to have more goals in the bank", he said. "Lokomotiv are still not beaten. But the main thing was we did not allow them to score."
'We can do it'
His opposite number, Yuri Semin, vowed that his side would work hard to gain another group stage place. "
We will do our best to win everything back," he said. "I know we can do it."
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