After a successfully converted creeping shot from Zoltan Gera and an Alamo-style first-half which resulted in an equaliser from the Ukrainian opposition, Fulham restored their lead with a 25-yard screamer to gain advantage going into the second game against last year’s Europa League champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

It was none other than England hopeful Bobby Zamora who converted with a long-range belter to win the game for the Cottagers, who struggled in the first half to maintain their one-goal advantage, falling foul of the impressive Ukrainian team before the break.

Fulham capitalised shortly after a strong start, which was only impeded by a great save from Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov, halting Brede Hangeland’s powerful header by tipping it over the bar within the first 20 seconds.

Following a minute of wonderful football, which culminated in Danny Murphy flying through the defence before passing it out to Zamora, Gera was able to take the lay-off and strike it with enough force to roll the ball under the keeper and let it trickle over the line.

Craven Cottage descended into chaos as fans screamed with delight at the early lead, but their optimism didn’t last long as the Ukrainians – with the help of a couple of Brazilians – fought back with a vengeance in the name of Donetsk.

After close calls from Darijo Srna and Rodrigues Jadna – both firing from range, only to narrowly miss their targets – Ilsinho and Luiz Adriano hooked up in spectacular fashion, allowing the latter to gain pace and run the ball around a hapless Mark Schwarzer, who was forced to watch the South American pass the ball into the empty net.

Despite having the advantageous morale going into the dressing room at half time, Shakhtar emerged without the spark they had when they departed from the field and it was up to Fulham to take advantage in front of their home fans.

After a relatively average 15 minutes, it was Zamora who scored the best goal of the night, finally capitalising on 63 minutes with a cracking strike, letting the ball pass in front of him before smashing it with his right foot, onto the crossbar and into the net.

Few people will be doubting Zamora’s chances with the England squad, which could do with a tall and powerful striker at a time when there is few options going forward before the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Following Fulham’s second, the game broke down into a bored affair to allow floating viewers to catch Liverpool’s goal against Unirea Urziceni, with only a couple of chances at Craven Cottage going wide until the dying minutes.

A consolation goal may have been in the bag for Fernandinho but his shot, which was fired through a crowded box, was halted by a well-placed hand from Schwarzer, who was troubled few times after the break.

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Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk

After a successfully converted creeping shot from Zoltan Gera and an Alamo-style first-half which resulted in an equaliser from the Ukrainian opposition, Fulham restored their lead with a 25-yard screamer to gain advantage going into the second game against last year’s Europa League champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

It was none other than England hopeful Bobby Zamora who converted with a long-range belter to win the game for the Cottagers, who struggled in the first half to maintain their one-goal advantage, falling foul of the impressive Ukrainian team before the break.

Fulham capitalised shortly after a strong start, which was only impeded by a great save from Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov, halting Brede Hangeland’s powerful header by tipping it over the bar within the first 20 seconds.

Following a minute of wonderful football, which culminated in Danny Murphy flying through the defence before passing it out to Zamora, Gera was able to take the lay-off and strike it with enough force to roll the ball under the keeper and let it trickle over the line.

Craven Cottage descended into chaos as fans screamed with delight at the early lead, but their optimism didn’t last long as the Ukrainians – with the help of a couple of Brazilians – fought back with a vengeance in the name of Donetsk.

After close calls from Darijo Srna and Rodrigues Jadna – both firing from range, only to narrowly miss their targets – Ilsinho and Luiz Adriano hooked up in spectacular fashion, allowing the latter to gain pace and run the ball around a hapless Mark Schwarzer, who was forced to watch the South American pass the ball into the empty net.

Despite having the advantageous morale going into the dressing room at half time, Shakhtar emerged without the spark they had when they departed from the field and it was up to Fulham to take advantage in front of their home fans.

After a relatively average 15 minutes, it was Zamora who scored the best goal of the night, finally capitalising on 63 minutes with a cracking strike, letting the ball pass in front of him before smashing it with his right foot, onto the crossbar and into the net.

Few people will be doubting Zamora’s chances with the England squad, which could do with a tall and powerful striker at a time when there is few options going forward before the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Following Fulham’s second, the game broke down into a bored affair to allow floating viewers to catch Liverpool’s goal against Unirea Urziceni, with only a couple of chances at Craven Cottage going wide until the dying minutes.

A consolation goal may have been in the bag for Fernandinho but his shot, which was fired through a crowded box, was halted by a well-placed hand from Schwarzer, who was troubled few times after the break.

Read the article on Adfero

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