Feyenoord scores 7 times to crush Shakhtar Donetsk and advance to Europa League quarterfinals
Feyenoord remains in the running for three titles this football season. The Eredivisie leaders advanced to the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday evening with a very convincing 7-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Rotterdam. The victory followed a 1-1 draw in the away game. Feyenoord will now focus on hosting Ajax on April 5 for a semi-final battle in the KNVB Cup.
All Feyenoord players remained fit and uninjured after the match, and there was no need for the team to exhaust themselves by playing into extra time, as Ajax trainer John Heitinga had hoped. Ajax will host Feyenoord on Sunday as the two teams fight for the lead at the top of the Eredivisie table. In fact, the Rotterdam club’s match against the top Ukrainian team was largely decided at halftime when the score was 3-0.
Trainer Arne Slot has been with Feyenoord for less than two years, yet he has already secured a club record. Feyenoord celebrated their fifteenth European football victory under his leadership. Ernst Happel and Bert van Marwijk led the Rotterdam club to international victories fourteen times.
Feyenoord was much too strong for Shakhtar, which could not camouflage the fact that many good Brazilians and Argentines left the team after Russia invaded Ukraine. Gernot Trauner returned to the starting line-up after a long-term knee injury. Lutsharel Geertruida moved to the rightmost defensive position and Marcos López replaced the left back Quilindschy Hartman who was unwell.
Santiago Giménez gave Feyenoord the lead in the 9th minute and Orkun Kökcü had plenty of space to double that lead in the 24th minute. The captain also converted a penalty kick in the 38th minute after a handball from Joechym Konoplja. Shakhtar only threatened once before the end of the first half when Heorhiy Soedakov struck the crossbar to conclude a strong play.
Compared to the first game between the two teams last week, Shakhtar could again rely on the Bohdan Mykhailitsjenko, Valeriy Bondar and Konoplja. But even with the return of the three defenders, they trailed 4-0 in the 49th minute. Oussama Idrissi found the far corner after a nice play.
With that big lead on the scoreboard, Slot decided to give the Polish player Sebastian Szymanski and the Mexican footballer Giménez some rest. Idrissi was also allowed to exit just after he scored to make it 5-0. Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Danilo then gave the satisfied spectators in De Kuip a chance to dream about a double-digit victory. Captain Kökcü was allowed to leave the pitch after 68 minutes, undoubtedly with a view towards Sunday's match in Amsterdam.
Kevin Kelsy scored for Shakhtar in the final phase of the match.
Reporting by ANP