KIEV - Shakhtar Donetsk dealt Olympique Marseille's UEFA Cup ambitions a blow with a 2-0 home win in the first leg of their quarter-final on Thursday. Tomas Huebschman opened the scoring for the Ukrainian side at the Olympiyskiy Stadium against the run of play six minutes before the interval. Huebschman's first effort was parried by keeper Steve Mandanda before he slotted home the rebound. Shakhtar increased their lead midway through the second half when fellow midfielder Jadson finished off a Brazilian combination that included a cross from substitute Willian and a one-two between Luiz Adriano and Fernandinho. During Marseille's dominant spell in the first half, Lorik Cana brought a good save out of Andriy Pyatov and forward Mamadou Niang hit the Ukrainian keeper's post. Marseille coach Eric Gerets said: "We were much better in the second half but we conceded a goal on their first chance. "It will be complicated in the return leg because we have lost without scoring a goal and we will be forced to take risks," he told French Canal Plus Sport. "Nothing is done yet although it is an important victory. I know it will be tough in Marseille because they are a very solid team who play big matches every Sunday," said Shakhtar's Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu. Shakhtar defender Mykola Ischenko was booked and will be suspended for next Thursday's second leg at the Velodrome. Marseille, Champions League winners in 1993, are trying to reach the UEFA Cup final for the third time since 1999. Shakhtar are bidding to reach a European semi-final for the first time.
9 April 2009
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