Sheriff players on Real Madrid Champions League upset: Why not dream?

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6:31 PM ET

  • Alex KirklandESPN FC

Sheriff Tiraspol captain Frank Castaneda’s message to his teammates forward of their Champions League match at Actual Madrid was uncomplicated: Why not dream?

The drive worked as the Moldovan champions — the to start with staff in the country’s historical past to element in the Champions League team phase — shocked the 13-time tournament champions 2-1 on Tuesday at the Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium.

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The upstart website visitors went forward just after 25 minutes when forward Jasurbek Yakhshiboev put a totally free header previous goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Karim Benzema equalised from the penalty location soon after halftime ahead of midfielder Sebastien Thill fired an 89th minute winner into the major corner.

“We believed we could earn. I spoke to my teammates as captain, motivating them, saying ‘why not aspiration?’ This is soccer,” Colombian ahead Castaneda claimed. “Genuine Madrid are historic but on the pitch it is really 11 vs. 11. We went for the acquire and obtained it.”

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The consequence leaves Sheriff prime of team D with six factors — after winning each of their matches so significantly — with Authentic Madrid in second.

“We performed a definitely superior activity,” claimed Thill, who became the very first player from Luxembourg to score a intention in the Champions League. “The facet were so courageous with how we performed and thankfully sufficient I was able to score a bit of a stunner.”

Goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis, 28 — who plays for Sheriff on loan from AEK Athens — was named UEFA’s Man of the Match for a screen that observed him make ten saves.

“I’m definitely happy,” he reported. “It truly is pretty tricky to engage in from these groups, the most effective in the world. I’m psychological, if I carry on conversing a great deal lengthier, I am going to close up crying.”

Sheriff pulled off a shock win against True Madrid. Jose Breton/Photos Action/NurPhoto via Getty Pictures

For his side, True Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti blamed “small particulars” for the decline.

“Far more than nervous we are sad,” Ancelotti explained in his write-up-match information conference. “The workforce played with a good deal of intensity and dedication. I imagine the little details — in the 1st half a cross, in the next half a throw-in — decided the match. Frequently they do not charge you, but with bad luck, they do.”

Ancelotti extra: “We experienced a great deal of possibilities. We could have been additional exact in the last 30 metres but it can be difficult to describe this defeat with the recreation we performed… It can be a great lesson for the foreseeable future. A throw-in, a cross, a corner, a pointless foul… They price tag you. We misplaced and we failed to should have it.”

Madrid experienced a full of 31 pictures in the recreation — 11 of them on concentrate on — with Benzema, Vinicius Junior, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, and Luka Jovic all going near.

“We had so many shots, their goalkeeper produced a whole lot of saves and I believe you have to congratulate them for scoring two objectives,” explained Real midfielder Casemiro. “We were being in command of the game, had lots of likelihood and then they scored a speculate objective.”

By distinction, Sheriff experienced a few shots they had on goal but have been capable to change two that most mattered.

“I employed to aspiration about winning at the Bernabeu,” Sheriff’s Peruvian defender Gustavo Dulanto explained. “I’ve constantly followed Actual, the club that is received the most Champions Leagues, and to have beaten them right here at household is a good achievement.”