Roma beats Shakhtar 1-0 to reach CL quarterfinals

Roma beats Shakhtar 1-0 to reach CL quarterfinals

Roma have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League thanks to a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in their last-16 second leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

That mistake came in the 52nd minute as Edin Dzeko beat the offside trap to score the only goal of the game and push Roma through on away goals.

Shakhtar shifted into a high press, creating openings for Roma on the counter and on one of those occasions, Ivan Ordets brought down Dzeko 20 yards from goal to earn a straight red card.

Roma's versatile Italy worldwide was then centimetres away from scoring an own goal after a Shakhtar free kick.

It is the first time in 11 years that two Italian teams are in the quarterfinals, with the draw taking place Friday.

"I'm proud of this team because I think we knocked out a very strong team".

Alessandro Florenzi came close to turning in an own goal at the 10-minute mark, one that would have been a crippling blow to Roma's comeback hopes.

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But Roma broke the deadlock seven minutes after the break as Dzeko latched on to Kevin Strootman's ball over the top and slotted it into the bottom right corner.

"What I liked best is that we played like men and that's the most important thing if we want to aspire to certain goals and dreams", said Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco, in his first ever Champions League campaign.

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.

Dzeko then looked to turn provider with an exquisite through-ball for Gerson on 73 minutes, but the Brazilian failed to test Pyatov with a poor strike from inside the box.

The champions of Ukraine went for broke in the final five minutes of the match, knowing an equaliser would send them through to the last eight, but the Eternal City outfit held on for a narrow victory.

"Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all gave absolutely everything tonight and we fully deserve to be in the quarter-finals", Dzeko was quoted as saying by Sky Sports Italia.