Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova Stunned Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, winning 2-1 courtesy of a dramatic 89th-minute strike from Sebastien Thill. Sheriff took the lead against the 13-time European champions in the 25th minute thanks to a header from Uzbek midfielder Jasurbek Yakhshiboev, who narrowly missed an opportunity to extend the advantage later in the half.
Sheriff finished with odds of +2700 at Caesars Sportsbook, marking it the biggest underdog to win in the Champions League in the last three seasons. Last year's biggest upset was Shakhtar Donetsk's +1300 odds win over Madrid in the group round.
"We believed we had a chance to win. As captain, I encouraged my comrades by stating, "Why not dream?" This is football, after all "Captain Frank Castaneda of the Tiraspol Sheriff's Office said. "Real Madrid is a legendary club, but on the field, it's 11 versus. 11. We went for the win and were successful."
After a breakaway in the 25th minute, Jasurbek Yakhshiboev found the far corner with a strong header past Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the visitors opened the scoring.
A few minutes later, Courtois made a mistake while trying to move the ball up the field, and Yakhshiboev's shot went just wide of the post, almost giving Sheriff another goal.
As Madrid continued to press, Benzema, Vinicius Junior, and Eden Hazard all had scoring chances but failed to take advantage of them, while Sheriff threatened counterattacks.
After a dubious foul on Vinicius Junior as he sought to sneak past a defender inside the area, Benzema equalized from the penalty spot.
Sheriff had a possible goal by substitute Bruno called back for offside less than 10 minutes later, but Thill sealed the victory towards the finish with a first-timer that found the upper corner of the net.
Sheriff has six points, three more than Madrid and five more than Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter Milan, who drew 0-0 in the other group encounter in Ukraine.
Sheriff won 2-0 at home against Shakhtar Donetsk, while Madrid triumphed 1-0 at Inter.
After the equalizer, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti made four substitutions at once, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos among those who came off the bench. Madrid will travel to Shakhtar Donetsk next, while Sheriff will travel to Inter Milan.
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