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Fulham claim prize Shakhtar scalp

FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1-1 Fulham FC (agg: 2-3)
A fine defensive display laid the platform for the English side to eliminate last season's UEFA Cup winners and advance to the round of 16.

Brede Hangeland celebrates his first-half header
Brede Hangeland celebrates his first-half header ©Getty Images

A resolute defensive performance helped Fulham FC earn a draw with FC Shakhtar Donetsk which sent the English club into the round of 16 3-2 on aggregate at the expense of last season's UEFA Cup winners.

Fulham survived an early onslaught from the hosts and took the lead after 33 minutes through Brede Hangeland's header. Jadson equalised for Shakhtar midway through the second half yet, despite throwing everything at the visitors in the closing stages, Mircea Lucescu's charges were unable to prolong their UEFA Europa League campaign.

Unlike the first leg when they conceded inside three minutes, Shakhtar were quickly out of the blocks with Willian forcing Mark Schwarzer to tip over his powerful effort and Jadson scuffing Darijo Srna's cutback wide of the post. Roy Hodgson's pre-match assertion that the task for his Fulham team "is a big one" was certainly being borne out as Schwarzer again had to be alert, diving to his right and beating out Fernandinho's swerving strike.

Fulham had barely caught sight of the Shakhtar goal when Hangeland stunned the hosts by glancing Damien Duff's right-wing free-kick past Andriy Pyatov. The Pitmen had registered 14 efforts on goal to Fulham's two at the break and they added another soon after when Luiz Adriano headed straight at Schwarzer. Fulham were content to sit back on their away goal while Shakhtar continued to ask all the questions, eventually breaking the visitors' resistance when substitute Douglas Costa de Souza deceived Stephen Kelly with a stepover and delivered a cross which Jadson swept in.

Yaroslav Rakitskiy went close with a long-range effort as Shakhtar cranked up the pressure but there was to be no dramatic finish for the hosts, who almost conceded again in added time when Zoltán Gera fired wide. Not even the late dismissal of Danny Murphy could save Shakhtar and it is Fulham who will go on to play Juventus in the last 16.