Rudiger scores late equalizer to rescue point and send the defending champions into knockout stages2 min read
Antonio Rudiger’s last-minute header shattered Shakhtar Donetsk hearts in Warsaw, with a 1-1 draw securing Real Madrid’s spot in the Champions League knockout stages.
Oleksandr Zubkov opened the scoring a minute into the second half to put the Ukrainian side in sight of a sensational result on Tuesday, with the hosts close to doubling their lead when Lassina Traore clipped the crossbar.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side, needing a point to secure safe passage to the round of 16, went for broke in the closing stages by moving Antonio Rudiger into a forward role.
That provided the breakthrough in the closing seconds, the German defender heading past Anatoliy Trubin to deny what would have been a famous victory.
A passive first half saw limited opportunities, Karim Benzema having the first sight of goal after 18 minutes with a stinging shot to test Anatoliy Trubin, who then enjoyed a quiet spell before tipping Federico Valverde’s effort from long distance over the bar.
Shakhtar capitalised on their visitors’ poor showing by taking the lead just minutes into the second period, Bohdan Mykhailichenko providing the cross for Zubkov to head past compatriot Andriy Lunin.
As below-par Madrid toiled, Shakhtar continued to pose more threat – Traore rounding Lunin but only chipping his effort against the crossbar, with Zubkov then forcing the Madrid goalkeeper into action before Mykhaylo Mudryk dragged an attempt wide.
Those missed chances ultimately proved costly, with makeshift striker Rudiger – having nodded just wide a few moments prior – heading home in the fifth minute of stoppage time to send Madrid through.