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Fenerbahçe snuff out Sheriff hopes

Fenerbahçe SK 1-0 FC Sheriff
A solitary strike from Uğur Boral earned victory for the Group H winners while denying the Moldovan side a round of 32 berth.

Uğur Boral fires in Fenerbahçe's winner against Sheriff
Uğur Boral fires in Fenerbahçe's winner against Sheriff ©Getty Images

A solitary strike from Uğur Boral earned Fenerbahçe SK a 1-0 victory against FC Sheriff in Istanbul, extinguishing the visitors' slim hopes of progression from Group H.

Sheriff needed to win and hope FC Twente did not triumph at FC Steaua Bucureşti, but they could not make any inroads against Fenerbahçe who were the dominant force at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. Uğur Boral's 15th-minute goal was enough for the hosts, who will be seeded for Friday's round of 32 draw.

Hosts' dominance
Confirmed as section winners before kick-off, Fenerbahçe were in no mood to give their visitors – who had never scored against a Turkish side in three games – an easy ride. Both Semih Şentürk and Daniel Güiza had close-range shots blocked as Sheriff struggled to keep their hosts at bay. The pressure soon told as Güiza laid off to Semih who played in Uğur Boral. The left-midfielder took one touch and then hit a sweet strike that clipped the underside of the bar on its way in.

Sheriff struggles
Deniz Barış then floated an effort narrowly past the far post when one-on-one with visiting goalkeeper Stanislav Namaşco as Fenerbahçe looked to double their tally. Sheriff were finding it hard to make an impact on proceedings with Vladimir Branković's long-range strike their best effort of the opening period. The pattern did not change in the early stages of the second half with Semih again going close only to be denied by Namaşco.

Robero Carlos swansong
With the game meandering towards its conclusion, the Fenerbahçe fans were given one more reason to cheer as Robero Carlos came off the bench for his last appearance with the club before heading back to play in Brazil after two and a half seasons in Istanbul and 144 appearances in UEFA competition overall.