Bobby Zamora (centre) celebrates his stunning winner at Craven Cottage
By Jonathan Stevenson
England hopeful Bobby Zamora scored a screamer to give Fulham the advantage in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Zamora, who has been tipped to win a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad, hammered home a glorious shot from 25 yards to earn Fulham victory.
The Cottagers had gone ahead early on when Zoltan Gera's low shot crept in.
Shakhtar dominated for long spells and Luiz Adriano's cool finish levelled it, before Zamora's moment of inspiration.
Fulham can perhaps count themselves fortunate to take a lead to Ukraine for the second leg on Thursday 25 February, but despite being outplayed at times they hung on and dug in with a spirited performance.
Shakhtar produced some sparkling football as they showed the quality that helped them win the tournament last season, but they failed to capitalise on their ascendancy and now face a fight to cling on to their trophy.
For Fulham and their fans, it was the perfect start as the Cottagers raced out of the blocks to stun Shakhtar and take an early lead.
They could have gone in front inside 15 seconds when Brede Hangeland's header was superbly tipped over by Andriy Pyatov, but the Cottagers only had to wait two more minutes to nudge ahead.
Danny Murphy split two defenders with a pass to the edge of the box to Zamora and after his cute lay-off, Gera lashed under the body of Pyatov from an angle on the left.
It was a fabulous opening salvo in the tie and the Fulham fans threatened to raise the roof at Craven Cottage, but their joy was soon tempered as Shakhtar gained a foothold in the game.
With Brazilians Ilsinho and Rodrigues Jadson at the creative hub they began to pass the ball with stunning speed and efficiency, enjoying the zip they could get from the wet surface as they made Fulham chase shadows.
It became a lesson in ball retention and as they threatened to pass Fulham into submission, the chances soon began to flow - Jadson from 15 yards and then the adventurous full-back Darijo Srna down the right from 25 yards both firing narrowly wide.
Such was their dominance it felt like only a matter of time before they equalised and shortly after the half-hour mark, two of the Brazilians combined to haul the holders level.
Ilsinho slipped a lovely pass forward and Adriano's run was good enough to enable him to slip past Aaron Hughes, round Mark Schwarzer, and slot into the empty net.
Fulham were going long spells without even touching the ball but they made it to half-time level and, perhaps buoyed by the fact that the were still in the tie, began the second half on a more equal footing with their Ukraine opponents.
Shakhtar continued to have more of the ball but Fulham were at least offering a threat - and with 63 minutes on the clock they once again took the lead, this time in breathtaking fashion.
Luiz Adriano slots home Shakhtar's equaliser before the break
Gera flicked a forward pass through his legs to Zamora 25 yards out and the big striker let the ball run on before hammering a magnificent, swerving right-foot drive that crashed in off the crossbar.
Suddenly Shakhtar, who had not played a competitive game since 16 December because of the Ukraine league's winter break, started to look tired and Gera had a header saved by Pyatov before Zamora nodded wide unmarked from eight yards.
Shakhtar sent on Douglas Costa and he twice went close before Schwarzer pulled off a fine fingertip save to deny Fernandinho in stoppage time to preserve for Fulham the slenderest of advantages going into the second leg.
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu: "A lack of practice coming into the game saw us concede the first goal. After that we had the game under control.
"There were a lot of chances which we could have scored from but we couldn't always get the breakthrough.
"We will have to realise our potential in the second leg and win the game, but this will be very hard to do as Fulham are very well organised."
90:00+1:47 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Darijo Srna, Foul by Yaroslav Rakitskiy on Aaron Hughes, free kick awarded.
Mark Schwarzer takes the direct free kick.
90:00+1:26 Darijo Srna takes a short corner.
90:00+1:11 Luis Fernandinho takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
88:32 Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
88:32 Substitution David Elm joins the action as a substitute, replacing Zoltan Gera.
88:32 Da Silva Luiz Adriano is caught offside.
88:05 Razvan Rat takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
87:54 The ball is swung over by Razvan Rat, Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.
86:16 Kostyantin Kravchenko takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
84:32 Razvan Rat gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora. Aaron Hughes takes the free kick.
82:20 De Souza Douglas Costa is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
81:42 Bobby Zamora concedes a free kick for a foul on Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Free kick taken by Yaroslav Rakitskiy.
81:22 Shot from just outside the box by da Silva Willian misses to the right of the target.
80:44 Shot by Razvan Rat. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
79:28 De Souza Douglas Costa delivers the ball.
78:50 Free kick awarded for a foul by Razvan Rat on Damien Duff. Chris Baird restarts play with the free kick.
77:12 Free kick crossed left-footed by de Souza Douglas Costa from right channel.
77:12 Substitution (Shakhtar Donetsk) makes a substitution, with Kostyantin Kravchenko coming on for Tomas Hubschman.
77:12 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Kelly on de Souza Douglas Costa.
74:31 Substitution De Souza Douglas Costa is brought on as a substitute for Rodrigues Jadson.
68:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera by Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Danny Murphy crosses the ball, Headed effort
from inside the area by Bobby Zamora misses to the left of the target.
67:16 Zoltan Gera takes a shot. Andrei Pyatov makes a save.
66:43 Da Silva Luiz Adriano takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
66:05 Stephen Kelly challenges Junior Ilsinho unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Darijo Srna.
64:54 Junior Ilsinho gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Murphy. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
63:41 Danny Murphy challenges Luis Fernandinho unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Yaroslav Rakitskiy.
62:23 Assist by Zoltan Gera.
62:23 GOAL - Bobby Zamora:Fulham 2 - 1 Shakhtar Donetsk A goal is scored by Bobby Zamora from just outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar
60:29 Outswinging corner taken by Darijo Srna.
59:54 Da Silva Luiz Adriano challenges Danny Murphy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Baird restarts play with the free
59:12 The ball is sent over by Dickson Etuhu.
53:05 Junior Ilsinho takes a short corner.
52:57 Booking Caution for Danny Murphy.
52:20 Junior Ilsinho takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in.
50:50 Darijo Srna challenges Simon Davies unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.
49:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Olexander Kucher on Bobby Zamora. Simon Davies crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed
from left channel, Darijo Srna makes a clearance.
48:29 Foul by Tomas Hubschman on Damien Duff, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
47:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Kelly on Junior Ilsinho. Darijo Srna restarts play with the free kick.
47:04 Bobby Zamora challenges Tomas Hubschman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andrei Pyatov takes the free kick.
46:24 Tomas Hubschman challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Hughes takes the direct free kick.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:00+1:09 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+0:22 Luis Fernandinho takes the free kick.
45:00+0:22 Booking Darijo Srna receives a yellow card.
Correction - 44:52 Simon Davies challenges Darijo Srna unfairly and gives away a free kick.
44:52 Free kick awarded for a foul by Simon Davies on Darijo Srna.
43:53 Shot by Razvan Rat.
43:45 Darijo Srna crosses the ball, clearance by Dickson Etuhu.
41:57 Darijo Srna delivers the ball, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
39:06 The ball is crossed by Razvan Rat.
38:43 Da Silva Willian takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
37:42 Dickson Etuhu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tomas Hubschman. Luis Fernandinho takes the direct free kick.
36:05 Simon Davies gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darijo Srna. Darijo Srna takes the direct free kick.
33:34 The ball is swung over by Damien Duff.
32:59 Luis Fernandinho concedes a free kick for a foul on Zoltan Gera. Dickson Etuhu takes the free kick.
31:53 Assist by Junior Ilsinho.
31:53 GOAL - da Silva Luiz Adriano:Fulham 1 - 1 Shakhtar Donetsk Da Silva Luiz Adriano scores a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Fulham 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk.
30:30 Shot from just outside the box by Darijo Srna misses to the left of the target.
30:22 The ball is delivered by Razvan Rat.
29:39 Zoltan Gera concedes a free kick for a foul on Olexander Kucher. Free kick taken by Olexander Kucher.
Correction - 28:39 The ball is crossed by Darijo Srna, Rodrigues Jadson takes a shot. Aaron Hughes gets a block in.
28:39 The ball is sent over by Darijo Srna, Rodrigues Jadson takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.
26:51 Unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Razvan Rat results in a free kick. Damien Duff delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from right wing, Olexander Kucher manages to make a clearance.
26:32 Olexander Kucher gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera. Dickson Etuhu takes the direct free kick.
24:46 Da Silva Willian takes a shot. Mark Schwarzer makes a save.
22:47 Danny Murphy has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
21:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora by Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
21:27 Tomas Hubschman gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora. Direct free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
21:08 Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.
21:08 Booking Da Silva Luiz Adriano receives a yellow card.
20:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by da Silva Luiz Adriano on Mark Schwarzer.
18:55 Bobby Zamora concedes a free kick for a foul on Tomas Hubschman. Andrei Pyatov restarts play with the free kick.
18:20 Bobby Zamora fouled by Tomas Hubschman, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
17:16 Da Silva Willian delivers the ball.
13:44 Corner taken short by Darijo Srna.
13:01 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Darijo Srna from the right by-line to the near post, Bobby Zamora makes a clearance.
9:49 The ball is sent over by Darijo Srna, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.
9:06 Bobby Zamora gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Razvan Rat restarts play with the free
7:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Razvan Rat by Bobby Zamora. Direct free kick taken by Razvan Rat.
6:03 Foul by Danny Murphy on Yaroslav Rakitskiy, free kick awarded. Yaroslav Rakitskiy has a direct shot on goal from the free
5:29 Zoltan Gera concedes a free kick for a foul on Darijo Srna. Free kick taken by Luis Fernandinho.
3:39 Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Rodrigues Jadson, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Razvan Rat from the free kick.
2:10 Bobby Zamora provided the assist for the goal.
2:10 GOAL - Zoltan Gera:Fulham 1 - 0 Shakhtar Donetsk Zoltan Gera finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Fulham
1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk.
1:53 Chris Baird sends in a cross.
1:37 The ball is delivered by Stephen Kelly, Olexander Kucher makes a clearance.
1:10 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the left by-line.
0:13 Bobby Zamora fouled by Razvan Rat, the ref awards a free kick. A cross is delivered by Danny Murphy, Brede Hangeland takes
a shot. Andrei Pyatov makes a save.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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