Mole hunt at Shakhtar ahead of Champions League

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ahead of its opening Champions League game, Shakhtar Donetsk has been on the hunt for a mole.

The Ukrainian club isn’t worried that someone is stealing its tactical secrets for Wednesday’s game against Hoffenheim, however. A real mole has been digging up the field at Metalist Stadium, leaving three large molehills by a corner flag.

Shakhtar says on Twitter that “groundsmen quickly eliminated the damage to the pitch and caught a mole. The field is in excellent condition now.”

There was no word on the fate of the subterranean rodent.

Shakhtar’s team, which plays in Kharkiv because its home city of Donetsk is occupied by pro-Russian separatist groups, is commonly nicknamed “the moles” because of the club’s historic ties to the mining industry.