The UEFA Cup final will be contested by German and Ukrainian teams after Werder Bremen and Hamburg SV along with Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk set up domestic semi-final showdowns. Brazilian playmaker Diego scored twice, as he did in the quarter-final first leg, to help Werder draw 3-3 with Udinese in Italy on Thursday to record a 6-4 aggregate victory. Bundesliga rivals Hamburg await Werder. Martin Jol's side lost 2-1 at Manchester City but progressed 4-3 overall. Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine can also look forward to a scrap between their two top sides. Dynamo brushed past Paris St Germain 3-0 in Kiev after a goalless first leg while Shakhtar won 2-1 at Olympique Marseille to eliminate the French league leaders 4-1 over the two ties. Diego again proved the thorn in Udinese's side after the mid-table Serie A team had threatened to pull off a thrilling comeback in Udine. Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, the home side cancelled out Werder's advantage by the break only for the Germans to hit back with Diego getting his second of the game and then missing a penalty. Claudio Pizarro fired Werder level on the night. Brazilian midfielder Elano also played the starring role for Manchester City but the Premier League side just fell short despite a spirited display. Elano fired home a 17th minute penalty to cancel out Paolo Guerrero's opener and struck the post and crossbar from freekicks as Hamburg rode their luck after conceding a second goal to Felipe Caicedo. "To get to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup is fantastic," Hamburg manager Jol told ITV. TALENTED TEAM Asked who were the favourites in the all-German semi-final, Jol added: "Bremen probably have more experience. Tonight we had to play three younger kids but they did very well... we have a talented team." Dynamo and Shakhtar's success is a second major boost on the sporting front for Ukraine this week. On Wednesday, UEFA president Michel Platini calmed fears the Euro 2012 co-hosts could lose the right to stage the tournament over doubts whether its Olympic stadium will be ready in time. "It will be impossible for Ukraine to lose the championship," Platini told reporters. Dynamo sealed their first European semi-final appearance since reaching the last four of the Champions League in 1999. The Ukraine league leaders, who hold a 15-point advantage over nearest pursuers Shakhtar, proved too strong for PSG at a packed Valeri Lobanovskiy stadium after Guinea forward Ismael Bangoura had got a fourth-minute opener. PSG keeper Mickael Landreau's blunder handed Dyanamo a second and Ognjen Vukojevic sealed the tie. Shakhtar, the only team left in the UEFA Cup who qualified for Europe this season as domestic champions, will contest their first semi-final in European competition. Luiz Adriano's stoppage-time goal gave Shakhtar victory in Marseille. The semi-final first legs take place on April 30 with the return matches on May 7. The final is in Istanbul (pictured) on May 20.
16 April 2009
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