Shakhtar retain qualifying hopes with 1-0 win
November 22, 2006 7:29pm CST
Ciprian Marica's 61st minute header propelled Shakhtar Donetsk to a 1-0 win over AS Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, keeping alive the Ukrainian side's remote hopes of advancing to the next phase. The result handed Shakhtar, under fire for mediocre play in their European campaign, a lifeline as they now have five points, two less than Roma, and could still snatch second place in the group with one game to play. With Roma initially appearing intent on settling for a draw, Shakhtar seized control of the match after a dull first half, creating a long series of scoring chances. Romanian Marica headed home a lob from Jadson over several Roma defenders. Jadson narrowly missed giving the home side a two-goal lead in the 75th minute, racing in on goal alone only to have the ball taken away from him by Italian keeper Doni. The midfielder was stopped by Doni again five minutes later, with fellow Brazilian Fernandinho picking up the rebound only to hit the post. In a flurry of activity in the dying minutes, Croatia's Darijo Srna came roaring down the right side of the pitch, but was denied by a brilliant save from the Italian keeper. Brandao, another of Shakhtar's Brazilian contingent, had a shot from close range parried by Doni in injury time. Roma's best chance came four minutes into injury time when Vincenzo Montella, on as a substitute, took the ball after a series of passes and pushed it narrowly wide of the right post. Shakhtar must now win their last match away to Greece's Olympiakos on Dec. 6 and hope Roma lose at home to Valencia.