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Classy Brazilians guide Shakhtar to UEFA crown

EUROPE'S last UEFA Cup final in Istanbul had Brazil stamped all over it.

All three goals were scored by Brazilians as Shakhtar Donetsk prevailed 2-1 over the German club Werder Bremen in extra time to clinch Ukraine's first European trophy as an independent nation.

Luiz Adriano's and Jadson's goals were offset only by Naldo, the Werder defender nicknamed "The Beast."

"I am very happy for my young Brazilian players because maybe now people will know them and hopefully (national coach) Dunga has seen them," Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said. "Half of our team was Brazilian and they are all younger than 25, but I trust in them.

"The team is very young and I hope no young players leave this team because we have bigger objectives. We want to do well in the Champions League now."

Luiz Adriano, one of Shakhtar's four-pronged Brazilian attacking unit, opened the scoring after 25 minutes by lifting the ball over goalkeeper Tim Wiese. Samba flair oozed through the Ukrainian champion, but it lacked brawn.

That was provided by Naldo in the Werder defense, which proved to be a muscular and stubborn barrier to his opposing countrymen.

The Beast supplied the equalizer 10 minutes after Adriano's goal, unleashing a free-kick that Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov pushed into his own goal.

Little was getting past Naldo until his own goalkeeper's own flap, with Jadson shooting through the arms of Wiese in the seventh minute of extra time.

At the final whistle, Naldo was in tears on the pitch as his compatriots in orange shirts - who also included Fernandinho, Ilsinho and Willian - celebrated.

The victory was a vindication of Lucescu's policy of luring Brazilian youngsters to add flair to his emerging side.

All five started in a team featuring just three Ukrainians for the biggest game at the club since Ukraine gained independence in 1991 with the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Shakhtar is the third former Soviet club to win the UEFA Cup in five seasons following victories for CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit St. Petersburg last year.

"We knew they were very fast and we knew we had to deny them space but it didn't really work out," Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said.

"We ceded time to our opponent and gave our opponent time to prepare its attacks."

Bremen seemed to be badly missing suspended Brazilian playmaker Diego.

"We weren't able to attack as much as we usually are able to do," Schaaf said. "Our ball control wasn't good enough."


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