Shakhtar Donetsk defeated their Ukrainian arch-rival Dynamo Kiev 2-1 today (3-2 on aggregate) to advance to the finals of the UEFA Cup, Europe’s secondary club competition. They will face Werder Bremen, upset winners over Hamburg. Shakthar’s winning goal came in the 88th minute, with overtime looming.
As I explained here, the rivalry between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev, though massive in sporting terms alone, transcends sports. Kiev is cosmopolitan and was the center of the Orange Revolution. Donetsk is provinicial and tends to be pro-Russia. Moreover, Shakhtar is owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov who backed the reactionary Viktor Yanukovych during the Orange Revolution.
But even reactionaries sometimes need to be a bit cosmopolitan. Both of Shakhtar Donetsk’s goals today were scored by Brazilians.