Football

Hodgson: Zamora can break 20 goal barrier

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Roy Hodgson has challenged Bobby Zamora to smash through the 20-goal barrier after the Fulham striker sealed a 2-1 Europa League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Zamora headlined a commanding display against last year's UEFA Cup winners by firing a spectacular 63rd-minute winner that saw the ball smash onto the crossbar and cannon into the net.

"It was a wonder strike from Bobby. He's got two feet - I don't know which is his best and neither does he," said the Fulham boss.

"Apart from his typically accomplished performance as a target man setting things up and working hard, his strike was of real quality."

He added: "We're now talking about a forward who has scored 14 goals in 31 starts. It's an excellent strike rate. I hope he can get over the 20-goal mark to crown his season."

Big-spending Shakhtar threatened to cut loose after Luiz Adriano equalised Gera's early opener, but Fulham rallied to give themselves a good chance of progressing in the competition ahead of next Thursday's second leg.

The Ukrainians, who fielded five Brazilians, played some wonderful football and threatened to overwhelm opponents fatigued by a punishing schedule.

But Fulham found a second wind after half-time and were helped by a superb stoppage-time save by Mark Schwarzer from Fernandinho.

"We're very happy to get victory against such a good team," said Hodgson. "It was a very exciting cup tie played in the right spirit and was very competitive. Both teams tried to pass the ball.

"I'm pleased to have taken such an important scalp. It's a big game for Fulham and we've come an awful long way.

"If someone had said to me during my first season here when we were battling to stay in the Premier League that we'd beat Shakhtar in a couple of years, I'd have thought they were taking the mickey. We've done it and are very proud of it."

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Topics:
Fulham
Bobby Zamora
Football
Premier League

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