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Shoot-out takes Shakhtar past Benfica

SL Benfica 1-1 FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Shakhtar win 5-4 on pens)
Shakhtar through to finals with second straight spot-kicks triumph.

Watch Benfica-Shakhtar penalty drama
Watch Benfica-Shakhtar penalty drama

Shakhtar through to finals having previously beaten Olympiacos on penalties in last 16
João Carvalho gives 2014 runners-up Benfica first-half lead but Romário Baldé misses penalty
Vasyl Shtander equalises to force a shoot-out
•  Oleh Kudryk saves first Benfica spot kick and all others scored
Shakhtar will meet either Anderlecht or Porto in semi-finals in Nyon on 10 April

FC Shakhtar Donetsk won through to next month's UEFA Youth League finals as they held their nerve to eliminate hosts SL Benfica on penalties.

Benfica, the only one of the inaugural Nyon finalists a year ago to make the last eight again, had the support of a packed Caixa Futebol Campus in a chilly Seixal, and were dominant during the opening exchanges, inspired by a tireless Renato Sanches with a flamboyant João Carvalho on the right wing. Despite Benfica's dominance Shakhtar defended staunchly though on 27 minutes Romário Baldé missed the target by centimetres.

In the 40th minute Gonçalves found full-back Yuri Ribeiro but he could not find the target while at the other end Denys Arendaruk had Shakhtar's first shot on goal. But it was soon 1-0 to Benfica, Baldé setting up Carvalho to open the scoring. Goalkeeper Oleh Kudryk was beaten then, but moments later saved from Baldé.

Benfica began the second half in good shape and on 52 minutes were awarded a penalty, However, Baldé's dinked effort did not have the pace to beat Kudryk.

That was the turning point, and Shakhtar immediately forced André Ferreira into two saves before the equaliser arrived. Beka Vachiberadze's free-kick was only half-cleared and Vasyl Shtander volleyed in. Either side could have won it in the 90 minutes, but just as in Shakhtar's round of 16 defeat of Olympiacos FC, a shoot-out was needed.

The key spot kick was the very first, Kudryk denying Diogo Gonçalves. Every other penalty was scored, Vachiberadze converting the winner to set up a semi-final for Shakhtar at Nyon's Colovray Stadium against RSC Anderlecht or FC Porto on 10 April.

Reaction:
Valeriy Kryventsov, Shakhtar coach
There is a sense of joy and fatigue. I'm very happy for the team especially in the second half, the lads proved themselves. They managed to show true Donetsk mettle, plus God helped us. Benfica are very strong but it is us who have reached the semi-finals. I felt that we had what it takes to overcome Benfica when they missed the penalty. Then we succeeded in orchestrating attacking moves. The second half was really good for us.