Champions League

Dzeko strikes to take Roma into Champions League quarter-finals for first time in 10 years

The Bosnian striker’s 52nd-minute goal helped the Italian giants to 2-1 aggregate win over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

Roma reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years as Edin Dzeko edged them past Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday and allowed the Italians to win the tie on away goals.

The Bosnian striker’s 52nd-minute goal proved enough after a 2-1 first-leg loss in Ukraine, with 10-man Shakhtar failing to find the late strike they needed after Ivan Ordets was sent off late on.

Cengiz Under’s goal in the first leg last month ultimately proved crucial for Roma, but Dzeko was the hero on the night and also proved instrumental in Shakhtar defender Ordets being shown a straight red card with 12 minutes left.

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.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s side are the second Italian team to advance to the quarter-finals after Juventus, with the draw for the last eight taking place on Friday.

“The standing ovation is not for me but for everyone, we are deservedly in the quarter-finals,” said Dzeko of the applause which accompanied him off the pitch.

“We managed to do something Roma hadn’t in 10 years, so going forward to play against the best makes us all very proud.

“We are among the eight best sides in Europe.”

Roma did not concede a goal at home in the group stage and hammered Chelsea 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, so the home fans in the crowd of 47,693 would have been confident their side could get the job done.

The Ukrainians dominated early possession though, and there was a scare for the hosts when Alessandro Florenzi nearly nodded a free-kick into his own net.

Ferreyra then came close after Federico Fazio lost the ball just outside his own box, before Roma struck seven minutes into the second half.

Kevin Strootman sent Dzeko through as Shakhtar tried without success to play the offside trap, and the Bosnian forward prodded a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov and into the net for his fourth goal in the Champions League this season.

Dzeko was then brought down by Ordets who got a straight red card for his troubles, making Shakhtar’s task that bit harder.

Roma pounce on mistake

“We knew that sooner or later they would make a mistake and we’d pounce on it,” said Roma coach Di Francesco.

“If we face any opponent with this attitude and determination, we can go far.”

“Roma made the most of a single moment,” said Shakhtar coach Paulo Fonseca.

“Dzeko of course was a key player, but apart from his goal they didn’t have a chance, we had possession. If we had finished off the chances we had in the first leg the match would already have been over.”

Roma held on, and after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup, their progress to the last eight along with Juventus is a boost for the country.

There have not been two Italian clubs in the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2006/07, when Roma joined eventual winners AC Milan in the last eight.

There will also be at least three Italian coaches in the quarter-finals – Di Francesco, Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus and Vincenzo Montella of Sevilla.

Di Francesco added: “I spoke with Montella a few days ago and we said we’d meet in the final.”

Antonio Conte could make that four with his Chelsea side facing Barcelona on Wednesday.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.