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Eduardo backs Shakhtar to build on Roma win

After helping FC Shakhtar Donetsk overcome AS Roma in an exciting round of 16 first-leg tie in Italy, Eduardo told UEFA.com that the Pitmen can continue to "surprise all of Europe".

Shakhtar players celebrate at the Olimpico
Shakhtar players celebrate at the Olimpico ©Getty Images

After helping FC Shakhtar Donetsk overcome AS Roma in an exciting UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg in Italy, Eduardo believes the Pitmen can continue to "surprise all of Europe".

Eduardo, who replaced the excellent Douglas Costa on 66 minutes, was introduced as an outlet to catch the hosts on the counterattack, shortly after Jérémy Menez had reduced Shakhtar's lead to 3-2. The fourth goal never came, but neither did Roma's equaliser, and the 27-year-old reckons this landmark win – albeit only a first-leg success – will earn Mircea Lucescu's men deserved respect across the continent.

"There are some people who don't know Shakhtar very well and maybe think that clubs from eastern Europe are easy to play against," he told UEFA.com. "I heard and read in the newspapers that when Roma drew us they were happy and expected us to be easy, but, step by step, we have shown that sides from eastern Europe like Shakhtar can pull off a surprise and maybe reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. I think we can surprise all of Europe."

The competition's remaining 16 clubs should not be too taken aback by the achievement of Lucescu's charges, given they lifted the UEFA Cup two seasons ago, and boast a raft of quick skilful Brazilians – five of whom contributed to this memorable victory. But despite having been out of competitive action for 70 days, the Ukrainian champions had enough stamina to hold on after racing 3-1 ahead with goals by Jadson, Douglas Costa and Luiz Adriano.

"Everyone's delighted with that 3-2 win," continued Eduardo, "but we know it's not over yet. We have another 90 minutes in Donetsk and we hope we can do just as well at home in front of our own supporters. It won't be easy but tonight was a big result for us.

"It's very hard to get back into the swing of things after not playing for about three months. Our last game was against SC Braga on 8 December so it was tough because we didn't play [competitively], we only played pre-season games and friendly matches. But you could see in the second half when Roma pushed up and dominated possession, we weren't quite able to counterattack for a fourth goal.

"We still have 90 minutes left in Donetsk, but if we qualify then we can think about the quarter-finals and then maybe have a bit of luck and play against a good club, but hopefully not a top club like Arsenal or Barcelona."