African duo Traore, Yansane gift Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol maiden Champions League win

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Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol grabbed a historic win on their Champions League debut defeating Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at the Stadionul Sheriff in Tiraspol on Wednesday.

Sheriff’s forward Adama Traore (L) and Sheriff’s forward Momo Yansane react after the UEFA Champions League football match between FC Sheriff Tiraspol and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at Sheriff Stadium in Tiraspol. /CFP

Sheriff Tiraspol had beaten Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb in a playoff to become the first Moldovan league team to reach the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition. They have, however, played in the Europa League, the continent’s second-tier competition, four times.

A goal in each half from Mailan forward Adama Traore and Guinean striker Momo Yansane stunned Shakhtar, who dominated possession, and handed the Moldovan side a dream start to their maiden campaign.

Traore opened the scoring in the 16th minute with an exquisite hooked left volley following a cross from Cristiano while Yansane came off the bench to head in the second shortly after the hour mark.

Despite Shakhtar’s best efforts, they failed to break down the hosts’ defence as they went in search for a goal.

The result left Sheriff Tiraspol top of Group D level on three points with 13-time winners Real Madrid. Italian champions Inter Milan and Shakhtar are third and fourth respectively with zero points.

In another match, Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah missed a penalty and scored a goal as Liverpool came from 2-1 down to beat AC Milan 3-2 at Anfield and Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez converted a penalty as last season’s beaten finalists Manchester City routed RB Leipzig 6-3 at Etihad Stadium.

Salah’s goal saw him equal a club record by becoming the joint-highest scorer in European Cup/Champions League games at Anfield alongside legendary captain Steven Gerrard with 14 goals.

Liverpool and Manchester City sit top of Groups B and A respectively with three points.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)

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