Champions League's youngest coach starts with a draw

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 20, 2018 08:32 AM
Champions League's youngest coach starts with a draw
Shakhtar forward Junior Moraes, left, and Shakhtar defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy jump for the ball during the Group F Champions League soccer match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — The youngest coach in Champions League history drew his debut game Wednesday as Hoffenheim's game at Shakhtar Donetsk finished 2-2.

The 31-year-old Julian Nagelsmann had to wait just six minutes to see his team score a first Champions League goal as Florian Grillitsch put Hoffenheim 1-0 up.

However, Shakhtar responded with a solo effort from Ismaily in the 27th as the Brazilian charged down the left flank before leaving defender Havard Nordtveit sprawling as he cut inside and placed a shot inside the far post.

Nordtveit restored Hoffenheim's lead with a header in the 38th after a corner and teammate Andrej Kramaric came close to scoring a third in the second half. However, Maycon's long-range shot in the 81st minute for Shakhtar meant the teams shared the points in Group F after a frantic finish in which Hoffenheim held off a Shakhtar onslaught.

Nagelsmann, who turned 31 in July, took over at Hoffenheim in February 2016 at the age of 28 and qualified the team for the Champions League last season for the first time in its history by finishing third in the Bundesliga.

He's a month younger than Belarusian Viktor Goncharenko was when he coached BATE Borisov against Real Madrid in the Champions League in 2008.

While Hoffenheim traces its history back to 1899, it's a young club at the elite level. The team languished in the German amateur leagues before software billionaire Dietmar Hopp began to put large sums into the club starting from 2000, taking it to the Bundesliga in just eight years.

In Group F's other game, Lyon upset Manchester City 2-1.

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