19 February 2020, 12h19

Benfica returns to Ukraine, a country where it faced Shakhtar Donetsk in December 2007 under heavy snow, with negative temperatures at around -10 degrees Celsius. The duel takes place again at 5:55 pm on Thursday. 

In this new chapter of the story, there is a geographical difference: the re-encounter will be at OSK Metalist Stadium, in Kharkiv, a city located about 30 kilometers from the border with Russia.


From the Champions to the Europa League

Benfica will face Shakhtar which are three-time champions and dominate Ukrainian football, whose hopes of extending their UEFA Champions League 2019/20 participation ended in round 6. They needed a win against Atalanta in Kharkiv to secure qualification in Group C, they lost by 0-3.

The men under the Portuguese coach Luís Castro only clinched a win in the group stage (2-1), and it was away at Atalanta. After that, they drew three consecutive matches: two against Dínamo Zagreb (2-2 and 3-3, at home and away, respectively ) and the third (1-1) away at Manchester City, who had won by 3-0 in Kharkiv, in the opening round.


Two leader

In the domestic competitions, just like Benfica, Shakhtar tops the league table. The Ukrainians lead with 50 points – 14 ahead of the Dynamo Kyiv –, the result of 16 wins and two draws in 18 rounds.

Caption: Top 5: leading scorers in 2019/20


Fire from Cardozo in the ice of Donetsk

December 4, 2007. It was in the extreme cold of Donetsk - where temperatures were around minus 10 degrees Celsius - that Benfica ensured continuity in European competitions, securing the presence in the UEFA Cup (predecessor to the Europa League), after beating Shakhtar by 2-1 with a brace from Óscar Cardozo. The starting XI featured two names that are still linked to Benfica today, but now in other roles: Luisão and Rui Costa.

Shakhtar-Benfica, 1-2

Date December 4, 2007
Venue  RSK Olimpiyskyi, em Donetsk
Benfica Starting XI Quim, Nélson, Luisão, David Luiz, Léo, Petit, Katsouranis, Maxi Pereira, Rui Costa, Di María and Óscar Cardozo
Substitutes Butt, Luís Filipe, Edcarlos, Bergessio, Nuno Gomes, Nuno Assis e Freddy Adu
Shakhtar Starting XI Pyatov, Srna, Chygrynskiy, Kucher, Rat, Lewandowski, Ilsinho, Jadson, Fernandinho, Lucarelli and Brandão
Substitutes Shust, Hubschman, Duljaj, Bielik, Gladkiy, Willian e Yezerskiy
At halftime 1-2
Goals  Cardozo (5' and 21') e Lucarelli (30' pk)

Benfica and Shakhtar lock horns at 5:55 pm GMT this Thursday, in Kharkiv, in the 1st leg of the last 32 of the Europa League. The 2nd leg will be played in Lisbon on February 27 (Thursday). The tickets are on sale.

Text: Filipa Fernandes Garcia

Photos: Archive / SL Benfica and

Last update: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

We use cookies to improve your browsing experience.
By your continued use of this site you accept our cookie use policy.