Darijo Srna and Shakhtar Donetsk completed the Ukrainian double Thursday night as they defeated Oleksandria 3-0 to capture the domestic league title on the last day of the season. The championship is Shakhtar’s third in a row and will once again see them play Champions League football next season. Srna played the full match and sent a beautiful through-ball down the center of the field which lead to Shakhtar’s third and final goal.
Srna, 30, is making tons of cash in Ukraine, captaining a team which has won the title three years running and consistently plays in Europe’s greatest football tournament: Champions League. The debate will continue, but should (or could) Srna give up fame, money and success to move to a top-four league in Europe? The proof is in the pudding. Srna is making it happen in Ukraine. For the cynical Srna supporters saying he should move to an elite European club, I ask you: Why?
Srna splits the Olek defense @ 2:08
Eduardo returned to the Shakhtar lineup for the first time in two months after injuring his hamstring in a match on March 11th. It was unsure if Dudu would be available for Slaven Bilić and Croatia for Euro 2012 duty, but it now looks as if he will play in his first tournament for the Vatreni. Eduardo was subbed into Thursday night’s game in the 64th minute and had little to do as the game was already in hand. With only two friendlies before Croatia kicks off the tournament on June 10th vs. Ireland, where does Eduardo rank amongst the team’s strikers?
IN OTHER NEWS AROUND UKRAINE…
Strinić goal vs. Karpaty
Croatian defender Ivan Strinić broke the deadlock for Dnipro in the 67th minute vs. Karpaty Thursday night, one-timing a high lob from inside the box for a late 1-0 lead. Strinić followed the goal with a red card in the 80th minute. It is unknown why Strinić was sent off, but he has one more goal for Dnipro in 2012 than Croatian teammate Nikola Kalinić does. With the 2-0 win, Dnipro lock in their place in next season’s Europa League tournament, with their first games beginning in the playoff round.
Marin Ljubičić goal vs. Dynamo @ 1:00
Former Hajduk Split midfielder Marin Ljubičić scored his first goal in Ukraine Thursday night as his shot from 19 yards out was deflected high and bounced off the post before crossing the line. The 87th minute equalizer ruined what would have been a victory to end the season for Dynamo Kiev. Both teams split the points in the 1-1 draw as Dynamo will enter next season having to qualify for the Champions League group stage. Ognjen Vukojević played the full 90 minutes for Dynamo.