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Stubborn APOEL frustrate Shakhtar

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 APOEL FC
Jadson swiftly levelled after Ivan Tričkovski gave APOEL the lead against the run of play, but the dominant home side were denied victory.

Stubborn APOEL frustrate Shakhtar
Stubborn APOEL frustrate Shakhtar ©UEFA.com

Jadson's timely equaliser ensured FC Shakhtar Donetsk took a point at home to APOEL FC in a match they dominated.

For the first hour it seemed certain Shakhtar would score first but on 61 minutes Ivan Tričkovski made it 1-0 to APOEL. The Cypriot side's hopes of repeating their opening victory over FC Zenit St Petersburg were dashed within three minutes by Jadson, but APOEL clung on to move a point above the Russian side and FC Porto at the Group G summit.

Missing central defenders Dmytro Chygrynskiy and Yaroslav Rakitskiy through suspensions after their red cards in the opening loss at Porto, Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu opted to partner UEFA Champions League debutant Olexandr Chyzhov and Olexandr Kucher for the first time this season. Shakhtar soon had APOEL under pressure, Willian's shot from distance forcing an early Dionisios Chiotis save

Not long after, the visitors lost Gustavo Manduca to what looked a hamstring problem; Constantinos Charalambides took over up front. But with the bolstering presence of Sanel Jahić, preferred to Marcinho in the starting XI, APOEL were not proving easy to break down even as Shakhtar monopolised possession.

Venturing forward, Henrik Mkhitaryan played a nice one-two featuring a Luiz Adriano back-heel but could not beat Chiotis. Tomáš Hübschman shot a loose ball over following a free-kick into the wall while Jahić diverted a cross into the path of Adriano, who put the ball over from close range. Darijo Srna turned a Willian cross just past the far post and then Chiotis bravely dived at Mkhitaryan's feet to keep it level at the break.

Little changed initially in the second half with Willian a menace and Alex Teixeira more than once failing to turn the ball in at a stretch. And then, totally against the run of play, APOEL took the lead. Tričkovski played the ball to Charalambides and strode on to the return before striking past the previously untested Olexandr Rybka.

It took only three minutes for Shakhtar to respond. Willian played one of his dangerous low crosses from the right and after the ball hit Teixeira's heels, the onrushing Jadson gave Chiotis no chance. However, the impressive goalkeeper dived to make a superb stop from substitute Douglas Costa and at the other end Rybka denied APOEL replacement Esteban Solari an unlikely winner.

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