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Shakhtar, Bremen grab narrow wins to make first trips to final

WERDER Bremen and Shakhtar Donetsk both reached their first UEFA Cup final with narrow victories on Thursday.

Werder rallied to beat Hamburger SV 3-2 in the second leg of their all-German final on Thursday and went through on the away goals rule, with the aggregate score 3-3 after Hamburg's 1-0 win in Bremen one week ago.

Shakhtar edged Dynamo Kiev 2-1 in the second leg of their all-Ukrainian matchup to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Brazil's Ilsinho scored the winner late in the game.

The final is on May 20 in Istanbul and both Werder and Shakhtar made the title game for the first time.

Ivica Olic scored for the home team in the 13th minute, but Diego tied the game in the 29th after a neat 1-2 move with Claudio Pizarro.

Pizarro scored in the 66th for a 2-1 Werder lead with a superb shot form 25 meters and Frank Baumann made it 3-1 in the 83rd with a header from close range, before Olic scored his second in the 87th to send the game into a thrilling finish.

"We kept faith until the end and fought until the final whistle," Pizarro said.

Werder held off Hamburg's desperate late attempts to make its second final of the season. Werder also eliminated Hamburg in the semifinals of the German Cup. If Bremen again beats Hamburg on Sunday in the Bundesliga, in what will be its fourth match inside 19 days, Hamburg is likely to be out of the race for the championship.

In the final, Werder will be without playmaker Diego and striker Hugo Almeida, who both picked up yellow cards that rule them out.

In Donetsk, Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho scored the winner with one minute left in regulation. He collected a long ball on the right, cut inside the box while faking two Dynamo players, Badr El Kaddouri and Ayila Yussuf, and shot the ball inside the far post.

Shakhtar took the lead on Jadson's shot from 13 meters in the 17th minute after defender Betao failed to control Darijo Srna's cross into the box from the right.

Guinean striker Ismael Bangoura equalized two minutes into the second half, breaking through two defenders to shoot into the lower left corner.


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