Shakhtar started another year with a victory, beating French Rennes in the first match of the Europa League playoffs – 2:1.
The game was expected with some apprehension. Back in the fall, there was a lot of talk about the young team, in which not many players have extensive experience playing in European competitions. All this is fully transferred to the European Cup spring – Ukrainian teams play their first matches at a time when the UPL has not yet resumed after the winter break. In addition, and everyone also mentioned this, one of the leaders, Mykhailo Mudryk, left Shakhtar in the off-season.
But, as the Pitmen’s mentor Igor Jovičević had promised the day before, his team compensated for the shortcomings in physical form and match practice with their spirit. And, of course, an important role was played by a quick goal. Its author was -year-old Dmitry Kryskiv, who found himself at the right point after Mandanda parried Mikhailichenko’s blow.
“Rennes”, which after the World Cup 2022 is in a game crisis, tried to respond with their attacks. And although the French at times controlled the ball noticeably more, there were practically no direct threats to Trubin’s goal. Before the break, only the episode with a gross mistake by Bondarenko, who brought the opponent one on one, was remembered. But Shakhtar’s goalkeeper helped his team out.
And in the last minute, the same Bondarenko corrected himself by winning a duel against the Rennes goalkeeper – 2:0. More than a comfortable advantage and the understanding that the French will strive to play at least one ball before the second leg.
Alas, they succeeded in the 59th minute, when Toko-Ekambi completed a perfect cross from the left flank. Shakhtar still had chances to score. But shortly before the final whistle, Sikan, in the fight against the defender, could not send the ball into the net. The result – the minimum victory of the Ukrainian club before the return game in Rennes, which will take place 23 February.
2022-23, Europa League
Shakhtar – Rennes 2:1 (2:0)
Goals: Kryskiv, (1:0); Bondarenko A-m, 45 (penalty) (2:0); Toko-Ekambi, 59 (2:1)
Miner: Trubin; Bondar V.; Matvienko N.; Hemp; Stepanenko; Bondarenko A-m; Kryskiv (to 59); Mikhailichenko B.; Sudakov; Traore L.Sh. (Petryak, 59); Zubkov
Replacements: Sikan (with 84)
Spare: Pyatov; Farina; Taylor L.; Rakitsky; Kozik; Jurasek; Nazarina; Topalov
Warnings: Stepanenko 40; Mikhailichenko B. 59
Rennes: Mandanda ; Omari; Truffet; Spence D.; Ugochukwu (Santamaria, 59); Burijo; Belosyan; Guiri (Due D., 43); Toko-Ekambi (Mayer L., 59); Kalimuendo (Meling, 84); Docu J. (Salah I., 43)
Subs: Alemdar; Salen; Due G.; Wu K.; Rodon; Teate; Tet
Warnings: Burijo 43; Ugochukwu 23; Mandanda 85