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Shakhtar aim to bounce back against APOEL

Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET
FC Shakhtar Donetsk will try to reprise their recent formidable European home form and bounce back from their matchday one loss but they will not have it easy against APOEL FC.
Shakhtar aim to bounce back against APOEL
APOEL are already three points better off than Shakhtar ©AFP

Tournament statistics

Shakhtar DonetskAPOEL

Goals scored6
Attempts on target34
Attempts off target38
Fouls committed96
Yellow cards17
Red cards2
Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET

Shakhtar aim to bounce back against APOEL

FC Shakhtar Donetsk will try to reprise their recent formidable European home form and bounce back from their matchday one loss but they will not have it easy against APOEL FC.

FC Shakhtar Donetsk will look to reprise their recent formidable European home form and bounce back from their matchday one defeat when they welcome a buoyant APOEL FC side to the Donbass Arena.

• While Shakhtar were losing 2-1 at FC Porto on the opening night, APOEL secured their first UEFA Champions League victory, 2-1 against FC Zenit St Petersburg, to give their Group G prospects a major boost. The fact they were no pushovers on their travels on their debut UEFA Champions League campaign two years ago is another warning for Shakhtar not to expect an easy evening.

Match background
• Shakhtar achieved four straight home wins in last season's UEFA Champions League before losing 1-0 to quarter-final opponents FC Barcelona. That defeat ended a 15-match unbeaten home sequence in Europe that featured 11 victories.

• APOEL performed creditably on the road in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League, earning draws at Club Atlético de Madrid and Chelsea FC, while losing 2-1 at FC Porto. En route to this season's group stage Ivan Jovanovič's men were victorious at KS Skënderbeu and ŠK Slovan Bratislava in the second and third qualifying rounds before a narrow 1-0 reverse at Wisła Kraków in the play-offs.

• While this is Shakhtar's first meeting with Cypriot opponents, APOEL have faced a team from Ukraine once before when tackling FC Zorya Luhansk, then reigning Soviet champions, in the first round of the 1973/74 European Champion Clubs' Cup. They lost 2-0 in Luhansk then went down 1-0 in the return leg in Nicosia.

Team ties
• Shakhtar's Mircea Lucescu has never encountered Cypriot opposition as a club coach but did face the Cyprus national team early in his time as both a Romania player and coach.

• In only his third and fourth competitive appearances as a senior Romanian international, Lucescu was on target in home and away wins against Cyprus in qualifying for the 1968 UEFA European Championship. He scored in a 5-1 Romania victory in Cyprus in December 1966, and struck again in a 7-0 home success the following April.

• Lucescu also faced Cyprus in his first UEFA European Championship qualifier as Romania coach, steering his country to a 3-1 home win in May 1982. His Romania team subsequently prevailed 1-0 in Cyprus 18 months later en route to qualification for the 1984 finals in France.

• Olexiy Gai, Olexandr Kucher and Vyacheslav Shevchuk played for Ukraine in a 1-1 friendly draw with Cyprus in Nicosia in February 2008. Constantinos Charalambides, Marinos Satsias and Nektarios Alexandrou were in the home lineup.

• Yaroslav Rakitskiy scored for Ukraine in a 2-2 draw with Romania in the Cypriot town of Paralimni on 8 February this year. Andriy Pyatov, Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Taras Stepanenko also featured in that match, which Ukraine won on penalties and which formed part of the Cyprus Tournament 2011. Ukraine went on to beat Sweden in another shoot-out in the final after a 1-1 draw at APOEL's GSP Stadium, Kucher and Stepanenko both playing.

• William Boaventura played for FC Metalurh Donetsk between 2008 and 2010, making 31 league appearances in two separate spells divided by a loan stay at Russia's FK Kuban Krasnodar. He faced Shakhtar three times, playing in a 2-1 Ukrainian Cup victory in March 2010, but also appearing in a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 Metalurh defeat in the league. During his second stint in 2009/10, the Brazilian played alongside Henrik Mkhitaryan, now a Shakhtar player.

• Mkhitaryan suffered home and away losses with FC Pyunik to Cyprus's Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round in 2008/09. He had earlier helped Armenia's Under-17 team earn a 1-0 victory against their Cyprus counterparts in Paralimni in 2006.

Last updated: 25/09/11 18.43CET

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