March 18, 2018

Dzeko hails ´patient´ Roma after narrow last-16 win

14 March 2018, 09:44 | Sandy Nunez

GETTY 20. Shakhtar Donetsk- 117

20. Shakhtar Donetsk- 117

Roma have never progressed from any of the four Champions League knockout ties in which they've lost the first leg, which bodes well for Shakhtar.

Cengiz Under's strike and a string of Alisson saves had kept Roma in the tie in the 2-1 away first-leg defeat, allowing Eusebio Di Francesco's men to edge to victory in the second leg and reach the quarter-finals despite a dismal display in which Dzeko's victor was scarcely deserved.

Mallenco twice worked for the matches of Shakhtar in the Champions League in the 2014-2015 season, "miners" in the 1/8 finals of painted draw with Bayern (0:0), and in the autumn of previous year thanks to the double beat Bernard "Feyenoord" (2:1).

The decisive moment came early in the second half when Kevin Strootman's through ball caught the Shakhtar defence high up the pitch and Džeko burst through before calmly sliding his finish through the legs of Andriy Pyatov.

The Champions League round of 16 completes on Wednesday, and the draw for the quarterfinal round will take place on Friday, with no restrictions placed on which teams can be paired together.

A straight red card for Ivan Ordets in the closing stages helped the Giallorossi's cause as they reached the last eight of the Europe's elite club competition for only the fourth time in their history.

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'I'm proud of my team who had 60 per cent possession, despite playing with 10 men at the end'.

Shakhtar came close to extending their overall advantage in the 13th minute when Roma defender Alessandro Florenzi headed a floated free kick into the box inches wide of his own far post.

'Roma have had the satisfaction this year, despite some hard times, of getting into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and we need to be proud of this.

Going down to 10 men left Shakhtar in disarray and their frustration showed when Facundo Ferreyra, who scored in the first leg, plowed into a ball boy on the sideline and the youngster fell backwards over an advertising hoarding.

The sides have met five times in the Champions League before, with Shakhtar winning on five occasions.

He added: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all gave absolutely everything, right up until the last minute".

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