Zamora's winner puts Fulham in driving seat

Fulham 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 1
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The Independent Football

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora struck a brilliant winner to round off a miserable trip to London for Europa League champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Just two days after the squad was denied entrance into Harrods - owned by Cottagers chairman Mohamed Al Fayed - for looking scruffy, Shakhtar lost a match they looked destined to win comfortably.

Zoltan Gera marked his recovery from a knee injury by firing the opener after just two minutes, although Shakhtar will be unhappy with keeper Andriy Pyatov's role in the goal.

Luiz Adriano pounced for the equaliser and a second seemed imminent as the Ukrainians dominated, but Fulham survived until half-time and then clawed back some of the initiative.

And Zamora struck the decisive blow in the 63rd minute, unleashing a thunderous 20-yard shot that rattled the crossbar and crashed home for his 14th goal of the season.

Fulham powered ahead in the third minute after sharp passing from Danny Murphy and Zamora split open the visiting defence.

Zamora laid on a brilliant chance for Gera and although the Hungarian's shot lacked menace, it still slipped beneath Pyatov who got a despairing hand to the ball.

Stunned into action, the strike provoked a flurry of activity from Shakhtar aided by Brede Hangeland losing the ball too easily and keeper Mark Schwarzer producing a dismal goal-kick that fell straight to the dangerous Fernandinho.

Jadson saw a shot blocked by the busy Hangeland before captain Darijo Srna fired wide from 25 yards out.

In the 32nd minute Fulham cracked, Ilsinho slipping a beautifully weighted pass to his fellow Brazilian Luiz Adriano who easily beat Schwarzer.

The Cottagers looked more threatening in the second half with Zamora holding the ball up well and Damien Duff proving a handful down the left flank.

Shakhtar occasionally looked suspect at the back and in the 63rd minute they were undone by a pile-driver from Zamora.

The ball was quickly played out of defence by Hangeland to Gera, who spotted an unmarked Zamora and the Fulham marksman pulled the trigger on a 20-yard shot that struck the underside of the crossbar before crashing home.

Gera and Zamora then had chances to produce a third, but both players directed their headers at Pyatov.