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Friday, September 24, 2021

Sheriff Tiraspol beats Shakhtar on Champions League debut

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TIRASPOL, Moldova (AP) — Sheriff Tiraspol had a Champions League group stage debut to remember as the team from a breakaway region of Moldova beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 on Wednesday.

Two goals on quick counterattacks off crosses from full-back Cristiano propelled Sheriff to victory. Real Madrid visits Inter Milan in the other Group D game later.

The game took the Champions League to a new frontier. Sheriff is the first club from the Moldovan league to qualify but it’s based in the breakaway region of Transnistria, a self-proclaimed independent nation which isn’t recognized by any United Nations member state.

With funding from the Sheriff company, which runs large parts of the economy in Transnistria and has strong political ties, the club built a team capable of pushing past former European Cup winner Red Star Belgrade in qualifying.

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