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Galeno scores twice as Porto eases to win over Ukraine's Shakhtar in the Champions League

Porto celebrates Porto celebrates - The Canadian Press

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk had a losing start at its new, temporary home in Germany as Galeno scored two goals and set up a third to help Porto ease to a 3-1 win over Shakhtar in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Shakhtar was welcomed by a near-capacity crowd of more than 46,700 at the Volksparkstadion in its first “home” game in Germany. UEFA has ruled it can't play home European games in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

Despite the support for Shakhtar, it took Porto less than eight minutes to open the scoring as Shakhtar goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk, back from injury, palmed a speculative shot away into the path of Galeno, who pounced to score.

Shakhtar used to specialize in signing talented Brazilian players but since the invasion last year its focus has shifted to younger players and more locally developed talent. Five of the starting lineup were aged 22 or younger, led by 19-year-old Venezuelan forward Kevin Kelsy, whose header to level the score at 1-1 on his Champions League debut in the 13th sparked jubilant celebrations. Ukrainian fans, including people displaced by the war, were among the crowd in Hamburg, and the stadium roared its approval of Kelsy’s goal.

Inexperience was on show in Shakhtar's injury-depleted defense soon after, though, as Porto swiftly restored and extended its lead. A wayward pass across the defense from Danylo Sikan completely evaded 20-year-old center-back Stav Lemkin, allowing Galeno to intercept and score past Riznyk.

Galeno didn't score Porto's third goal but he inspired it with a surging run down the left flank before crossing for Mehdi Taremi to score. The Iranian slipped in between midfielder Taras Stepanenko and left-back Novatus Miroshi as Shakhtar's central defenders were nowhere to be seen.

Porto eased off in the second half and Shakhtar had limited success in its attempts to get back into the game, though attacks down the right flank did force saves from Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa at his near post. Lemkin limped off clutching his thigh, which meant Shakhtar finished the game with Miroshi out of position as a central defender.

“It’s a good feeling to win a game. We’re in the process of evolving the team so that we can create a stronger team," Porto coach Sérgio Conceição said. "We’re happy with the three points, but I hope that now we can continue to win and get through to the next round, which is our big goal. We still have a long way to go to achieve our goal of reaching the last 16.”

Shakhtar played its home games in Poland last year but is hosting teams in Germany this season. The Ukrainian league is still going on at home — without fans — and Shakhtar had to travel over the border to Poland by bus before it could board a flight to Hamburg in a journey taking nearly 10 hours in total. The games are also a test of Hamburg's Volksparkstadion before it hosts games at next year's European Championship.

Barcelona beat Royal Antwerp 5-0 in the other game in Group H. Porto hosts Barcelona Oct. 4 in their next game and Shakhtar visits Antwerp.


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