Bremen set up UEFA Cup final clash with Shakhtar

May 8th, 2009 - 4:14 am ICT by IANS  

Hamburg, May 8 (DPA) Werder Bremen came from a goal down to win 3-2 away to SV Hamburg Thursday to book a UEFA Cup final date against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Diego, Claudio Pizarro and Frank Baumann were the goal-scoring heroes for Bremen while Ilsinho scored the all-important goal for Shakhtar, who beat Ukrainian arch-rivals Dynamo Kiev 2-1 to book their place in a first ever European final May 20 in Istanbul.

Bremen went into the clash trailing 1-0 from the first leg and had the first clear chance of the game after 12 minutes at the Arena in Hamburg when Sebastian Boenisch’s cross found Pizarro unmarked in the area but the Peruvian international headed wide.

A minute later Bremen found themselves a goal down when Joris Mathijsen powered his way upfield from defence before finding Ivica Olic who chipped the ball over the advancing Tim Wiese.

Olic could have doubled Hamburg’s lead on 27 minutes but his effort from close range was saved. Within two minutes Bremen were level when Diego and Pizarro combined well before the Brazilian slotted the ball past Frank Rost.

Diego nearly netted a second on 37 minutes but his shot from 25 metres hit the crossbar. However, the 24-year-old was booked two minutes before the break for an off-the-ball row with Alex Silva, who also saw yellow, meaning he will miss the final.

Bremen continued to press in the second half for the second goal they needed and Pizarro had the ball in the net on 52 minutes only to be ruled offside.

However, Pizarro finally got on the scoresheet on 66 minutes, beating Rost at the near post although the Hamburg goalkeeper really should have done better.

Baumann looked to have put the game beyond Hamburg with Bremen’s third seven minutes from time and although Olic popped up to score his second of the game to make it 3-2 on the night to set up a tense finale, Bremen held on to make it to their first UEFA Cup final.

Bremen are the first German side to reach a UEFA Cup final since Borussia Dortmund lost to Feyenoord Rotterdam in 2002 while Schalke 04 were the last German winners back in 1997.

Thomas Schaaf’s side will now meet Shakhtar, who have never lifted a continental trophy, let alone made it to a final.

The second-leg tie played in front of 25,000 fans at the RSC Olympiyskiy Stadium in Donetsk was finely poised at 1-1 after the first leg in Kiev and the home side took the early initiative when Jadson clocked up his eighth goal of the tournament after 17 minutes.

However, Ismael Bangoura levelled matters for Kiev two minutes after the break, latching on to a through ball from Oleksandr Aliyev before clinically slotting home.

But with the match seemingly destined for extra-time Brazilian Ilsinho cut in from the right before firing the winner into the far corner.

The only sour note for Shakhtar was a booking for Tomas Hubschman for handball which rules him out of the final. Bremen’s Hugo Almeida will also miss out after picking up a yellow card after coming on as a substitute.

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