Lyon rescues draw at Shakhtar to seal UEFA Champions League knockout berth

While Lyon did enough to qualify, the draw leaves the French team on a four-game winless run in all competitions.

Published: 13th December 2018 05:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th December 2018 05:08 AM   |  A+A-

Shakhtar's Taras Stepanenko (L) challenges for the ball with Lyon's Bertrand Traore during the Group F Champions League match at the Olympiyskiy stadium, in Kiev, Ukraine (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

KIEV (UKRAINE): Lyon scraped into the knockout rounds of the Champions League after salvaging a 1-1 draw away to a tenacious Shakhtar Donetsk team on Wednesday.

Playing in freezing sleet in Kiev after the game was relocated due to martial law, Shakhtar took the lead through Junior Moraes and held on for more than 40 minutes thanks to a string of saves from Andriy Pyatov. However, Nabil Fekir hit a shot into the top-left corner in the 65th minute to give Lyon the point it needed to secure second place in Group F behind Manchester City.

While Lyon did enough to qualify, the draw leaves the French team on a four-game winless run in all competitions.

Veteran goalkeeper Pyatov was Shakhtar's standout player, stopping Bertrand Traore's shot early on before Moraes dummied Jason Denayer to score in the 22nd off a low pass from Ismaily. Pyatov saw a shot from Depay go wide before blocking Fekir's effort when the Lyon captain was clear through the defense in first-half stoppage time.

Lyon's dominance was such that it had recorded 14 shots to Shakhtar's two before Fekir scored. Out wide, Depay dodged a defender before cutting the ball back from the touchline for Depay, who held off two Shakhtar players before curling the ball into the corner, leaving Pyatov no chance.

The game had been moved to Ukraine's capital Kiev from the city of Kharkiv after martial law was introduced in various regions of Ukraine, including Kharkiv. That followed Russian forces firing on and seizing three Ukrainian naval vessels.

The move to Kiev brought tension between Shakhtar's fans and supporters of its traditional rival Dynamo Kiev, whose stadium was used.

Police said 27 people were detained ahead of the game after alleged incidents of trying to force open turnstiles and attempting to assault police. Flares were thrown from the crowd onto the field at the start of the game and a large banner was displayed reading: "Shakhtar, you aren't welcome here."

City beat already-eliminated Hoffenheim 2-1 in the other game in Group F.


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