Sheriff stunned Real Madrid with a late goal in a Champions League defeat.
Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova stunned Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, winning 2-1 due to a stunning 89th-minute goal from Sebastien Thill.
The sheriff took the lead against the 13-time European champions in the 25th minute thanks to a header from Uzbek midfielder Jasurbek Yakhshiboev, who barely missed an opportunity to extend the advantage later in the half.
Sheriff finished with odds of +2700 at Caesars Sportsbook, marking it the biggest underdog to win in the Champions League in the previous three seasons.
Last year’s greatest shock was Shakhtar Donetsk’s +1300 odds win against Madrid in the group round.
“We felt we had a chance to win. As captain, I encouraged my comrades by asking, “Why not dream?” This is football, after all, “Captain Frank Castaneda of the Tiraspol Sheriff’s Office remarked. “Real Madrid is a legendary club, but on the field, it’s 11 against. 11. We went for the victory and were successful.”
Georgios Athanasiadis, a 28-year-old goalkeeper on loan from AEK Athens, was awarded UEFA’s Man of the Match after a performance in which he made 10 saves.
“I’m overjoyed,” he remarked. “It’s very tough to compete against the greatest teams in the world. I’m emotional, and if I go on much longer, I’ll start weeping.”
Real controlled both half but needed a penalty to tie the game. After Vinicius Jr was felled and given a penalty after a VAR review, Karim Benzema buried his spot-shot in the top corner in the 65th minute. He had been refused a spot-kick after a prior review minutes earlier.
The sheriff soon went down the other end and, after a throw-in, the ball fell to Luxembourg midfielder Thill, who fired a deadly shot into the far top corner for the hosts.
“It’s the kind of game where, even when you have complete control, it’s the little things that determine the outcome,” Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti remarked. “We lost the game as a result of it. A game like this may teach you a valuable lesson about the importance of details.
You paid the price for a throw-in, a cross, a corner, and a needless foul. We lost, and the squad, to be honest, didn’t deserve it for what they did.”
Sheriff, from the unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria, leads Group D with six points after two games, while Real is in second
place with three.
The sheriff made history by becoming the first Moldovan team to reach the group stage of Europe’s top club tournament, and they shocked a very experienced Champions League side in Shakhtar Donetsk by winning their first game 2-0.
They faced an undefeated Real side and were outplayed for the most of the game, but made the most of their limited opportunities
and relied on a few top-drawer stops from Athanasiadis to pull off the greatest win in their 24-year existence.
Real got off to a good start, with Vinicius and Benzema both coming close to putting them in front, with Athanasiadis making the
first of many stops to tip Benzema’s stinging strike over the bar.
Ancelotti’s side, though, were caught off guard when Cristiano tore down the left flank and crossed to an unmarked Yakhshiboev, who headed into the goal.
Real continued to threaten, with Benzema and Vinicius both shooting just wide of the goal before halftime, but Yakhshiboev might
have scored again at the other end after Thibaut Courtois’ stunning mistake.
After Benzema equalised from the penalty spot, the Spaniards seemed to be on their way to victory, but Sheriff equalised again via
substitute Bruno, despite the goal being called out for offside.
Modric was next denied by Athanasiadis, who stopped a thunderous strike from the Croatian with his face, before Rodrygo, a
Brazilian forward barely missed the target.
Instead of a Real winner, Thill tried his luck from the edge of the box and scored the most significant goal in his club’s short
Ancelotti remarked, “Sheriff defended brilliantly, extremely tight at the back.” “We were compelled to go outdoors. But we worked well together, got in behind, and made a number of crosses; what we didn’t do so well with were the little things, and we could have been more concentrated.”