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UEFA Champions League
September 19, 2012
• Donbass Arena, Donets'k
Referee: P. Gil
• Attendance: 45816
H. Mkhitaryan 44', 76'
And that's it, the referee blows for full time, and the scoreline here at Donbass Arena is Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 FC Nordsjaelland. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
Devic should score there. Srna whips a ball in from the right that goes right to the head of the striker. From 12 yards out though, he can only head straight at Hansen, who tips the ball away.
Oh, what is Douglas Costa doing? The Brazilian cuts in from the right, skips past two, and all he has do is lay in Devic, and Shakhtar have a third goal. Instead, the 22-year-old tries to beat another man and go himself, but Mtilinga is blocks him in his path.
Here comes Devic. The Ukrainian bombs forward, and tries to slip in Douglas Costa, but Okore is there once again to dispossess.
Nordsjaelland are still coming forward though. Okore tries to attack down the left, but the ever reliable Srna is there to clear away the danger. He's been superb tonight.
Yellow Card Patrick Mtiliga
It really does look all over for Nordsjaelland now. They're clearly tiring, and the fresh legs being brought on by Lucescu, are rally stretching the Danish side's defence.
Yellow Card Joshua John
Goal Henrikh Mkhitaryan
GOOOAAALLL!!! And it's Mkhitaryan who bags his second! On the left-hand side of the area, the Armenian tries to play it across the box for Texeira. Okore though, knocks it back to him, and he slips it into the net from 15 yards out. 2-0.
OH DEAR! Alex Texeira makes a wonderful run into the area, and receives a pass from Willian. All he has to do is poke it into the net, but the Brazilian youngster can't make any contact and the ball runs away for a goal kick.
The corner comes in, but it's easily taken by Hansen.
CORRR! Wonderful effort from Willian. The Brazilian hits it from 25 yards out, but Hansen tips it brillaintly over the bar.
Rakitskiy has it now, 30 yards from goal. The centre back looks up, and goes for an incredibly speculative shot, that goes well, well wide of the post.
The corner comes in, but it goes straight into the goalkeeper's arms.
Yellow Card Darijo Srna
Okore whips it in, and that is very nearly an own goal. Rakitskiy went for the header, but it hit the back of his head, and caught out Pyatov, who could only watch as it went just agonizingly over the bar.
Well played Joshua John. The Dutchman skipped round the outside of Srna, who pulled him back and conceded a free kick.
Oh, good defending. Mkhitaryan knocked the ball round the outside of Okore, and tried to run after his own pass. The Denmark international though, was as strong as an ox, and knocked the Armenian off his path before coming away it.
Dear me. Some more Shakhtar pressure sees Hubschman play a long ball over the top to Luiz Adriano. The goalkeeper though, rushes off his line, and very nearly misses the ball. Fortunately though, he does get a slight head to it, and clears. Just.
Yellow Card K. Lorentzen
A late challenge from Lorentzen on Ilsinho sees the Danish midfielder booked.
OHHH! Another chance for Shakhtar! Fernandino slipped in Mkhitaryan inside the area, but the Armenian couldn't quite poke his effort past the out-rushing Hansen.
Still Shakhtar come forward though. Srna, on the right-hand side, plays it infield to Hubschamn. The Czech international whips a cross-field ball into the path of Fernandinho on the left-hand side of the area. The Brazilian then hits a Marco van Basten-esque volley at goal, but instead of dipping in the far corner, it smashes the near side-netting.
OHHHH! What an effort. A corner from Willian went all the way out to Srna on the edge of the area. The captain then smashes it on the volley towards goal, but Hansen was there to palm the ball away.
Shakhtar have it now with Rat. The Romanian attacks down the left, and plays it inside the Ilsinho on the edge of the area. The Brazilian tries to backheel it to Fernandinho, but Okore is there to block the pass.
The Danes have it with Okore at right-back, but his long pass to John sees the Dutchman getting flagged for offside.
We're back. And it's Nordsjaelland who get us underway, going from right-to-left.
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, with the scoreline here at Donbass Arena: Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 FC Nordsjaelland. I'll be back in 15 minutes for the second half, but in the meantime, tweet your thoughts @alexjmott.
Assist Luiz Adriano
Goal Henrikh Mkhitaryan
GOOAAALLLL! And Shakhtar have gone one up! Luiz Adriano made a superb run down the right, put in a beautiful ball for Mkhitaryan, who passed into the back of then net from eight yards out, with a first time finish. Brilliant finish.
Yellow Card S. Christensen
Soren Christensen goes in late on Hubschman, and the referee gets his card out, once again.
More Shakhtar pressure. And more chances. This time, Mkhitaryan struck a shot from 12 yards out, only to see his effort saved by Hansen, down to his left.
OH! Another chance for Shakhtar. This time, Ilsinho got to the right-hand byline, cut the ball back, but once again, the pass couldn't find a team-mate, and Nordsjaelland clear.
The yellow card you see for Hansen there is for dissent.
Yellow Card Luiz Adriano
Yellow Card Jesper Hansen
Penalty claims from Shakhtar, but the referee waves them away! Luiz Adriano latched on to a through ball from Hubschman, and went round the goalkeeper. The Brazilian went around Hansen, before falling to the ground, but the ref waves play on.
Some tight midfield play from both sides there. It's getting a lot scrappier, and I have to say, Nordsjaelland are looking good value for the draw here.
OFFFF! Rat attempts a cross from the left-hand side, that catches Parkhurst square in the face from a yard. Ouch!
First effort for Nordsjaelland, and it's the captain Stokholm who strikes it. The 36-year-old smashes a shot from 25 yards out, but Pyatov is equal to it, and palms the ball away.
Some more fantastic football from Nordsjaelland. A pass from the centre circle goes into the feet of John. The Dutchman flicks it around the corner to Beckmann, who returns the favour, and plays it into the path of the man on-loan from Twente. Unfortunately though, his touch is too heavy, and Rat comes across to clear up.
The corner was terrible by the way. But Nordsjaelland are now coming forward. Parkhurst attacks down the right, but Shakhtar are quick to re-group, and the American has to play it backwards to keep possession.
Well played Willian. The Brazilian cuts in from the left, goes past two men, and whips a shot with his right foot. The effort though, is deflected somewhat, and goes out for a corner.
Joshua John shows some brilliant pace there, as he gets round the outside of Kucher. The Ukrainian centre-back though, just strecthes his right leg, and touches the ball out of play for a throw in.
A fantastic through-ball from Rakitskiy to Mkhitaryan. Unfortunately, the Armenian's first touch was a poor one, and the ball ran out for a goal kick, when really, he should have been through on goal.
OHHH. That should have been a goal. Ilsinho, on the right-hand byline, cut the ball back, but the pass missed both Willian and Luiz Adriano, who were unmarked running into the box. Poor stuff there from the 26-year-old.
Again, Nordsjaelland come forward, but Stokholm's ball forward for John is overhit, and Pyatov comes off his line to collect.
John whips it in, but the ball is too long and goes straight into the arms of Pyatov.
Despite a shaky first five minutes, Nordsjaelland are really getting into this now. Adu, down the left, skips past Srna, and gets a free kick after a pull of the shirt.
Some really nice football from the Danish side there. Parkhurst and Christensen teamed up down the right-hand side, but couldn't quite find John with the through-ball. Promising stuff though from Hjulmand's side.
First chance for Shakhtar, and it's Luiz Adriano with the effort. Hubschman released the Brazilian, who shot from the edge of the area first time, only to see his effort go wide of the right-hand post.
Again, it's Nordsjaelland on the counter. This time, Parkhurst tried to slip in John from the halfway line, but Rakitskiy is there to clear up the danger.
Shakhtar are having the majority of the possession here early on, but Nordsjaelland do look dangerous on the counter-attack. That time, Beckmann went on a quick run upfield, but didn't have enough support before being tackled by Rat.
Mkhitaryan with the ball now. The Armenian goes on a surging from from midfield, and should release the on-rushing Willian. The 23-year-old keeps hold of it though, and by the time he does release the Brazilian, it's given as offside. Selfish play there.
Oh, some nice approach play from Shakhtar there. Mkhitaryan and Ilsinho swapped passes on the edge of the Danes' area, but Parkhurst cleared well.
Already Nordsjaelland have their first touches of Champions League football, with Okore and Runje playing it along the backline. It's passed down the right, with Lorentzen cutting inside from the touchline, but Srna is there to dispossess.
Here we go then. Shakhtar gets us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
The Champions League anthem gets a huge cheer, with the player shuffling along, completing the pre-match handshakes.
Here we go then. It's the Miners vs the Wild Tigers, and it's coming in less than three minutes!
Just over five minutes to go until kick off here at Donbass Arena, and it is absolutely buzzing. The atmosphere is genuinely electric.
As always, if you have any questions, predictions, etc, tweet me @alexjmott.
FC Nordsjaelland (4-4-2): Hansen; Okore, Mtiliga, Parkhurst, Runje; Adu, Stokholm, Christensen, Lorentzen; Beckmann, John.
Shakhtar (3-4-3): Pyatov; Kucher, Ratitskiy, Rat; Srna, Hubschman, Fernandinho, Willian; Ilsinho, Luiz Adriano, Mkhitaryan.
For Nordsjaelland, it's all about Joshua John. The 23-year-old striker is currently on-loan from FC Twente, as is really the only player in the starting XI with any sort of European quality. He'll have to fire if the Danish champions are to come away with anything this evening.
For thos of you who are unfamiliar with tonight's teams, here are the players to look out: for Shakhtar, watch out for Armenian forward Henrik Mkhitaryan. The 23-year-old has managed to bag 12 goals in nine league appearances this season, and could cause Kasper Hjulmand's side all sort of problems tonight.
Despite their fantastic domestic record though, Mircea Lucescu's side have not won a home match in the Champions League for four games. In fact, their last victory came back in March 2011 with a 3-0 win over Roma.
What a night this is going to be for FC Nordsjaelland. The Danish champions are making their first ever appearance in the Champions League. In fact, none of their players have ever played in Europe's top club competition, and face a Shakhtar side that have gone 19 league games unbeaten - a record for the Ukrainian Premier League.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play, coverage of Shakhtar Donetsk - FC Nordsjaelland. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for tonight's Champions League clash from Donbass Arena.
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