Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Roma's Eusebio Di Francesco 'knew' Shakhtar would make decisive error

Roma's Eusebio Di Francesco 'knew' Shakhtar would make decisive error

Cengiz Under's goal in the first leg last month ultimately proved crucial for Roma, but Dzeko was the hero on the night and also proved instrumental in Shakhtar defender Ordets being shown a straight red card with 12 minutes left.

A second-half Edin Dzeko goal earned Roma a 1-0 Champions League last-16 second-leg win, enough to narrowly knock out a blunt Shakhtar Donetsk side on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Edin Dzeko scored the only goal of the match early in the second half as Roma became the second Italian side to progress to the final eight after Juventus beat Tottenham last week.

Dzeko's goal allowed the Italians to win the tie on away goals.

The visitors suffered a big blow ten minutes before time as Ivan Ordets was sent off after pulling down Dzeko who was clear on goal. "All the other teams are strong but we are strong too".

Shakhtar were unlucky not to get an away goal of their own early on when Roma's Alessandro Florenzi nearly headed an in-swinging free-kick into his own net with a glancing clearance.

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.

Moments later, a fracas broke out on the pitch after two Shakhtar players pushed a ballboy over the advertising boards for holding on to the ball in a chaotic finish to the match.

'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. "Among the eight best sides in Europe and we push onto the next round".

Roma will be returning to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 2008, and Di Francesco said that no matter the result of the draw, "I want to keep on dreaming with this team".

"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.

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