Dzeko fires Roma into last eight

Dzeko fires Roma into last eight

Roma have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League thanks to a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in their last-16 second leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Bosnian striker scored the only goal of the second leg to put the Serie A side through on away goals against Shakhtar.

The decisive moment came early in the second half when Kevin Strootman's through ball caught the Shakhtar defence high up the pitch and Džeko burst through before calmly sliding his finish through the legs of Andriy Pyatov.

Four teams: Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City and Liverpool have already booked their places in the quarter final.

But it wasn't plain sailing for the Italian side, with Paulo Fonseca's side looking the better of the two clubs in the first half.

Any chance of a Shakhtar fightback was effectively doomed by a straight red card to center back Ivan Ordets in the 79th minute. The thing I liked the most was seeing them in the locker room, as this was a victory achieved by men and a group that goes forward together.

Shakhtar were unlucky not to get an away goal of their own early on when Roma's Alessandro Florenzi nearly headed an in-swinging free-kick into his own net with a glancing clearance.

'Roma have had the satisfaction this year, despite some hard times, of getting into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and we need to be proud of this.

That sending-off led to tensions spilling over, with Shakhtar's Facundo Ferreyra picking up a booking for shoving a ballboy over an advertising board.

Dzeko then looked to turn provider with an exquisite through-ball for Gerson on 73 minutes, but the Brazilian failed to test Pyatov with a poor strike from inside the box.

Roma will be returning to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 2008, and Di Francesco said that no matter the result of the draw, "I want to keep on dreaming with this team".

He added: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all gave absolutely everything, right up until the last minute".

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