Sheriff Tiraspol produced one of the great Champions League shocks as the competition’s least experienced club upstaged 13-time European champions Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

September 29, 2021

Sebastien Thill snatched victory for the debutants with a stunning final-minute strike, sparking scenes of wild celebration from the Moldovan champions.

Jasurbek Yakhshiboev’s first-half header had given them the lead before Karim Benzema levelled with a penalty.

But Thill’s goal was a worthy way to clinch a historic victory – the Luxembourg midfielder’s half-volley reducing the home crowd to silence as it flashed past Thibaut Courtois.

“It’s the best and most important goal of my career, that’s for sure,” said Thill, who was last year playing on loan at FC Tambov – a Russian club which in May was dissolved after declaring themselves bankrupt.

“The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner.

“After this match, we all went crazy. There are a lot of foreigners in the club, we come from all types of countries. It’s our strength.”

This was not what Real had planned as the Bernabeu hosted Champions League football for the first time in 580 days, and shouts of celebration from Sheriff players were the soundtrack to a monumental upset.

Sheriff captain Frank Castaneda said victory was a “dream come true” and that they are focused on reaching the knockout stage.

“We are dreaming of getting into the last 16 and that’s our objective,” he said.

The home side dominated every facet of the game, having 76% possession and 31 shots – 11 of which were on target.

But Sheriff played with supreme composure and were ruthless when presented with even a hint of a chance – scoring twice from just three shots on goal.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said he was “a little sad” as he felt Real “deserved to win”.

“You could say we had bad luck, we lost the game on the small details, they scored their goals on the counter-attack and from a throw-in,” the Italian said. “We had a lot of shots at goal but sometimes luck deserts you in games.

“Everything went well for them; everything went wrong for us.”

The match in the Spanish capital was Sheriff’s 10th Champions League fixture of the season as they came through four rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage for the first time.

A milestone win against Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month sent them top of Group D, and this remarkable triumph ensures they remain unlikely leaders ahead of illustrious opposition that also includes Italian champions Inter Milan.

“Our attention now turns to Inter and we’ll work hard in order to ensure we keep getting positive results,” Sheriff captain Castaneda said.

While they are still minnows on the European stage, they have won 20 of the 22 Moldovan league titles they have contested, and in the two league games before heading to Madrid, they scored 11 goals and conceded none.

Tuesday’s result means they become just the second club to win on their first Champions League trip to the Bernabeu, replicating Arsenal’s achievement in 2005-06.

And not since Leicester City in 2016-17 have a side won their opening two games on their debut in the competition.

Real had intended to make history of their own on their return to the Bernabeu, which has been refurbished, as they are just one short of 100 Champions League victories at home.

But the competition’s most experienced club – and one which has attempted to reshape European club football as a founding member of the controversial Super League – were beaten.

Sheriff Tiraspol player celebrate against Real Madrid
Sheriff Tiraspol’s second goal sparked wild celebrations
Yuriy Vernydub of FC Sheriff celebrates victory
Manager Yuriy Vernydub and the Sheriff Tiraspol bench celebrate after the final whistle
Players of FC Sheriff celebrate
Sheriff players continued to celebrate well after the final whistle on the Bernabeu pitch
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema looks at the celebration of Sheriff's Brazilian midfielder Bruno Felipe Souza da Silva
Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and the home crowd were left stunned by Sheriff’s late winner

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

WCW – DR. GLORY ENYINNAYA

DR. GLORY ENYINNAYA epitomizes the essence of accomplishment, vision, and influence. Recognized as one of the top 6 Best MBA Students globally by the prestigious Association of MBAs, she proudly holds the distinction of being the first African to grace the Governing...

Morning Affirmations

● I am worthy of abundance and prosperity. ● I am a magnet for opportunities that create wealth. ● I make wise financial decisions with confidence. ● My income grows steadily and consistently. ● Challenges are stepping stones to greater financial success for me. ● I...

#WCW – TOPE MARK-ODIGIE

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, TOPE MARK-ODIGIE stands as a beacon of inspiration in the realm of wealth creation and personal empowerment. As the visionary CEO of Reb360 a distinguished Real Estate Business organization, she champions the mission of guiding individuals...

Morning Affirmations

Today, I confidently declare that • I am a beacon of blessings, radiating positivity and abundance to everyone I encounter, enriching their lives with my presence. •The work of my hands is blessed and fruitful, bringing prosperity not only to myself but also to those...

Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit

Hey there, fellow young entrepreneur! Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of entrepreneurship? Well, buckle up because I'm about to share some inspiring insights that will ignite your entrepreneurial spirit! Entrepreneurship is like a thrilling rollercoaster...

Morning Motivation

● I am constantly learning and evolving, becoming better every day ● I believe in myself, and I will not let anyone dim my light. ● I learn from my mistakes and keep moving forward ● I visualize success and attract positive energy into my life. ● I...

#MCM – Oloyede Adeyeoba, Akinghare II

Our Man Cruch Monday, Oloyede Adeyeoba, Akinghare II. At just 15 years old, Oba Oloyede Adeyeoba, Akinghare II, the Ojima of Okeluse, ascended the throne in a moment that would forever alter his life. Thrust into the role of king amidst his Junior Secondary school...

#WCW – LAKRISHA DAVIS

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, LAKRISHA DAVIS is a high-level achiever who has demonstrated success at every phase of her journey to the top as an entrepreneur. A Career Professor and the CEO of Nextup resume, Lakrisha has impacted over 1000 lives with her wealth of...

#WCW – TOYIN UMESIRI

Our Woman crush Wednesday, TOYIN UMESIRI is a world-class Entrepreneurship Leader who has built her journey brick by brick, ascending from the ground floor to collaborating with top business and government leaders on advancing trade, investment, and economic...

#WCW – ARALOLA OLAMUYIWA

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, ARALOLA OLAMUYIWA, popularly known as the queen of drums, is an African supremely talented singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, and actress who has displayed her skills in the musical world in global places like the USA, China, Ghana, and...