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Sheriff Tiraspol pulls off stunning Champions League upset of Real Madrid

Sheriff Tiraspol is off to a strong start as they look to advance out of group play.

Giorgos Athanasiadis of Sheriff Tiraspol celebrates with teammate Dimitris Kolovos after victory in the UEFA Champions League group D match between Real Madrid and FC Sheriff at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 28, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League provides a chance for teams from across the European continent to play for glory. More often than not, the blue bloods of the sport lead the way. But sometimes, an upstart makes some noise. That’s what Sheriff Tiraspol did on Tuesday with a stunning 2-1 upset of Real Madrid.

Jasrubek Yakhshiboev netted a header for Sheriff in the 25th minute and then the team withstood a rush from Real Madrid much of the rest of the game. The heavy favorites equalized in the 65th minute on a Karim Benzema penalty kick, but the underdogs netted the game-winner in the 89th minute when Sébastien Thill nailed a shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

Sheriff came into this match with +1700 odds to win at DraftKings Sportsbook while Real Madrid was -750. 74% of handle and 85% of bets were on the favorite to roll to victory.

With the win, Sheriff improves to 2-0-0 in Group D. Real Madrid drops to second place with a 1-0-1 record while Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk are tied for third at 0-1-1. Sheriff’s next match is on October 19th in Milan against Inter. Real Madrid will host Shakhtar Donetsk the same day.

This Twitter thread offers tremendous context for Sheriff Tiraspol, which is the first Moldovan team to even earn a berth in the Champions League.