Malmo beats Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 in Group A

MALMO, Sweden (AP) A first-half goal from captain Markus Rosenberg gave Malmo a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and its first points in Group A of the Champions League.

Rosenberg collected a pass from Pa Konate and fired home in the 17th minute for Malmo’s first goal of the group stage, following two consecutive 2-0 defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

”The fact that we were able to take them in this way makes me enormously happy,” Malmo coach Age Hareide said. ”I must commend the boys on a fantastic job.”

Malmo grew in confidence after scoring but Shakhtar had numerous chances to equalize. Darijo Srna, Alex Teixeira and Marlos all had shots blocked by goalkeeper Johan Wiland, while Frederico Rodrigues Santos twice missed the target twice – as did Srna with a free-kick.

”We were a better team in the second half and should have scored a couple of goals more,” said Rosenberg.

The home side could have made it 2-0 during the second half, but Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov managed to save a penalty by Nikola Djurdjic in the 56th minute.

Malmo had most of the chances after the break, with Pyatov producing a series of saves to deny the Swedes, including shots by Djurdjic and Jo Inge Berget.

Toward the end, Shaktar managed to rally, with Eduardo and Alex Teixeira both threatening to score, while Taras Stepanenko missed a good opportunity in the 88th.

”They were stronger than us. On top of that, their supporters were fabulous,” Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said after his team’s third straight defeat.

Malmo has three points, four less than PSG and Madrid, who drew 0-0 in the other group game.