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Shakhtar coach apologises for controversial strike

SHAKHTAR DONETSK coach Mircea Lucescu has apologised for the controversial goal scored by his side in their 5-2 Champions League win at FC Nordsjaelland.

The visitors were returning the ball to their opponents following a break for injury but Luiz Adriano failed to read the script, ran on to the ball with the home defence static, rounded the keeper and scored.

It was a key moment in the game with Shakhtar having fallen behind and their subsequent victory ensured their progression to the knockout stages from Group E, leaving Juventus and Chelsea to fight it out for the second place.

The goal outraged the Danish side, with Lucescu moved to say sorry.

"I would like to apologise for the goal scored by us, which caused much talk," he said. "I did not see the beginning of the episode, because I turned to the bench and just saw Adriano receive the ball and score.

"He told me, 'I saw the ball at my feet, it triggered a striker instinct, and I hit'."

After the goal, there seemed to be disagreement among the Shakhtar players as to whether they should give their opponents an equaliser.

Some players stood aside as Morten Nordstrand advanced from the restart, but Taras Stepanenko eventually stepped in to stop him.


Lucescu explained: "We wanted to let the opponents score, but Stepanenko prevented us from doing so."

The Danes were not to be placated, with coach Kasper Hjulmand reportedly calling the Ukrainian side "bandits" who were "without morals".

Captain Nicolai Stokholm said: "Their striker didn't get it. I looked down at my armband, and there's something about respect - it has to be said we didn't see much of that.

"We thought that they would give us a goal. Half their team seemed to think so too, but the other half didn't."

Sporting director Jan Laursen, added: "I hope my boy was in bed by the time Shakhtar scored a goal of that character - that sort of thing doesn't belong anywhere."

Nordsjaelland actually retook the lead after the controversial incident, but Willian scored twice and Adriano completed his hat-trick as Shakhtar sealed a crucial win.