When Sheriff came to Madrid, a Real awakening, who are the surprise of Europe

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FC Sheriff Tiraspol is the full name of the club few would give any chance or hope to get through the steps to get into the final stages of Champions Leauge action this season, but even with that seen as a massive struggle a result like the one accomplished against Real Madrid will for always be seen as history.

The two goalscorers in the game for FC Sheriff were Jasurbek Yakhshiboev and Sebastien Thill, not really household names among football writers and pundits. Yakhshiboev is on loan from Legia Warsaw, playing internationally for Uzbekistan, and with little or no special grand history in the game. The 24 year old forward scored his goal after 25 minutes. Thill is also on loan, coming from Luxembourg club Progres Niederkorn. Both players are making their mark in international football as well as on the European stage.

To be able to qualify for Champions League action is something few manage with FC Sheriff a grand holder of many Championship seasons behind them in their own domestic league, and to have vital experience from winning football games is a key to further progress in Europe.

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They are also playing out of a system that is well known and used as a grand formula for possible fantastic results as their 4-2-3-1 approach can be difficult to handle with a domination and good marking in the central midfield area.

Another key is of course the players that need a certain experience as well. Goalkeeper on the day was also a player brought in on loan from AEK Athens. Giorgos Athanasiadis (28) has also played for Panathinaikos and do have that key European experience.

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Their captain is Frank Castaneda. A Columbian forward with a past at Slovakian club Senica. He has an impressive tally of goals with 31 goals in 43 appearances in the domestic league. Another player arriving from Senica is Edmund Addo, born in Ghana and also among the best performers v. Real Madrid.

Greece international Dimitris Kolovos is another player to watch as he arrived first on loan from Panathinaikos and later being seeing his full move completed. Kolovos has so far scored 12 goals in 25 games for FC Sheriff.

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Moldovan players are few in the squad and in the game in Madrid four were on the bench without getting on. Maxim and Serafim Cojocari, Celeadnic and Pascenco were all sitting the game out.

The talent of flank man Adama Traore is also there and he made his contribution in Madrid, being vital with an assist to Thill for his goal and also being a treath at other times in the game.

With this win FC Sheriff are current leaders of the group also defeating Shakhtar Donetsk in their first game at home, winning 2-0. To get into the group stages they also won their battles against quality opponents such as Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb.

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Still early days in their home league with three games in hand they are currently third, but still very much in reach with the leaders, Milsami.

FC Sheriff do depend on foreign import but that is also a fact at most clubs in Europe at the moment getting results with grand and special scouting, so we have probably not seen the last of FC Sheriff and their surprising lift in top flight football.

Their manager is Ukranian Yuriy Vernydub, who arrived at the club from Belarus football and previously been in charge of Ukrainian top club Zorya Luhansk for eight years. He is a well known football personality in the east of Europe.


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