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Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Tottenham 1-1 S Donetsk (agg 1-3)

By Julian Shea

Wilson Palacios tackles Razvan Rat
Tottenham's Palacios dispossesses Rat of Donetsk

Tottenham went out of the Uefa Cup 3-1 on aggregate despite their below-strength side earning a battling second-leg draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.

With many first-teamers rested players like debutant Jon Obika were given a chance and he carried most threat as Spurs took charge after a slow start.

Giovani dos Santos's goal after half-time got Tottenham hopes up.

But Fernandinho's late equaliser sucked the wind out of their sails and ensured Spurs went out.

With a two-goal deficit from the first leg and Sunday's Carling Cup final to think about, Tottenham fielded an unfamiliar-looking line-up.

Of the starting XI, only goalkeeper Heurlho Gomes can be confident of a starting place at Wembley, and it was debutant Obika who did most to catch the eye.

The visitors seemed content enough to defend their advantage from the first leg, but after a fairly tame first quarter, whose only real highlight was the booking of Jamie O'Hara, Tottenham came to life.


Obika's long-range shot just wide of the right-hand upright finally roused the home side and they laid siege to the visitors' goal for the remainder of the half.

For all their effort, however, Spurs rarely hit the target and when they did, the shots tended to be straight down the throat of goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.

They had good reason to think their luck would finally change when Frazier Campbell was decked in the penalty area by a waist-high challenge from Fernandinho, but their penalty claims were waved away.

The second half began with more of the same positivity, with Obika flashing a shot just wide in the opening seconds and Tom Huddlestone's 70-yard pass setting up Gareth Bale, who could only shoot straight at the keeper.

But their reward finally came on 54 minutes, with Giovani the unlikely goalscorer.

He controlled Campbell's flick-on from Bale's pass on his favoured left, brought the ball inside the defender and sent the ball into the top corner from 18 yards.

Campbell then had another strong penalty shout turned down after he was bundled over by Rasvan Rat as Spurs went in search of a second goal which would have taken the game to extra time.

But just as Spurs's fringe players were on the verge of making heroes of themselves, Fernandinho broke their hearts when he cut in from the right and fired a low shot into the bottom corner to kill off any hopes of a Tottenham victory.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp:

"They all worked hard and gave everything, their coach said to me afterwards that he thought they were lucky to have won and they were - we should have won.

"There were a lot of positives - the crowd had something to get behind, we went 1-0 up and had some good chances, you couldn't fault the effort in the way we played tonight.

"Jamie O'Hara was fantastic, it was his first game back after injury and he showed me he's ready to play at the weekend in the Cup final - it's a nice problem to have."

Tottenham: Gomes, Gunter, Chimbonda, Huddlestone, Gilberto (Bostock 77), Giovani, Palacios, O'Hara (Parrett 71), Bale, Campbell, Obika. Subs Not Used: Jansson, Butcher, Smith, Mason, Townsend.

Booked: O'Hara, Palacios.

Goals: Giovani 55.

Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Srna, Chigrinsky, Ischenko, Rat, Fernandinho, Jadson, Ilsinho (Gai 80), Lewandowski, Willian (Hubschman 46), Gladkyy (Moreno 61). Subs Not Used: Khudzamov, Duljaj, Kucher, Seleznyov.

Booked: Lewandowski, Hubschman.

Goals: Fernandinho 86.

Att: 30,595

Ref: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy).

BBC Sport Player Rater men of the match: Giovani on 7.37 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Thursday's football as it happened
26 Feb 09 |  Football
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 Tottenham
19 Feb 09 |  Europe

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