Thursday, 14th February, 2013

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu has blamed the Ukrainian winter break for his side’s 2-2 draw against Borussia Dortmund last night.

Lucescu’s men took the lead against Dortmund in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg clash through Dario Srna in the 31st minute before Robert Lewandowski levelled matters with 41 minutes on the clock.

Again Shakhtar Donetsk took the lead though, as Douglas Costa scored in the 68th minute, but only three minutes from the end Mats Hummels ensured the match would end 2-2 after he found the back of the net for the Germans.

For Lucescu, whose side have not played a competitive match since 5th December, Ukrainian football’s long winter break had a lot to do with his team surrendering the lead twice.

"I’m sure we would have won today’s match. The errors we made were the characteristic of a team who do not play, who do not take part in official matches", he told his club’s official site, when asked if the scoreline would have been different if Shakhtar Donetsk had been playing in the domestic league.


"We made those errors because the absence of the game practice. When it is present – they don’t make them", he continued.

"Looking at their game, Borussia did not show they are stronger. It was clear that they looked more powerful because of the matches they play in their league. We, unfortunately, have not had any such fixtures."

Now though the veteran Romanian tactician is looking to the future, with securing a positive result in the second leg in Germany at the forefront of his mind.

"But it’s over now. We need to think well what to do in the second game now.

"It would be a pity to lose the chance and not advance past Borussia."

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