FC Dynamo Kyiv confirmed their place in the UEFA Cup with a 1-0 win against Fenerbahçe SK, whose disappointing European campaign came to a shuddering halt at the Valeri Lobanovskiy Stadium in Kiev.
Roman Eremenko scored the only goal of a game billed as a play-off for the UEFA Cup spot on 20 minutes to earn Dynamo their first home victory in the competition in nine attempts and with it third position in Group G. For Fenerbahçe, UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists last season, it was a disappointing end to a frustrating campaign as they failed to seriously test Dynamo in a match they had to win to climb above their Ukrainian rivals. A dire evening for the Turkish outfit was compounded by Claudio Maldonado's dismissal for violent conduct in added time.
It took both sides time to find their feet on a slippery surface with Fenerbahçe in particular struggling to adapt to the freezing conditions. Though coach Luis Aragonés had vowed Fenerbahçe would press from the outset, Dynamo made the initial running without unduly troubling Volkan Demirel in the away goal. Alex twice narrowly failed to connect with Daniel Güiza as he looked to thread the ball through, but the real threat was at the other end and Dynamo took the lead midway through the first half. Artem Milevskiy's superb pass picked out an unmarked Eremenko on the edge of the area and as Volkan rushed from his line to pressure the midfielder, he side-footed first time past the goalkeeper and into the unguarded net.
There was no such cutting edge to Fenerbahçe, who needed 31 minutes to force Stanislav Bogush into a save, and even that was comfortable as Selçuk Şahin tried his luck from distance. Fenerbahçe's best opening of the half came when Güiza met Gökhan Gönül's cross only to direct a powerful header straight at Bogush. Gökhan himself came close in first-half added time, shooting wide after another incisive run down the right flank.
Dynamo coach Yuri Semin made his intentions clear at the beginning of the second half when he replaced attacking midfielder Florin Cernat with the defensive-minded Malkhaz Asatiani as he sought to protect his team's advantage. Even so they had the first sight of goal when Ismaël Bangoura shot high and wide, and they continued to peg Fenerbahçe back. Gökhan's saving challenge kept Fenerbahçe in the contest as Asatiani attempted to get on the end of another probing Milevskiy pass, before substitute Artem Kravets blazed over from close range.
Aragonés introduced Maldonado then Ali Bilgin for the ineffective Alex and slowly Fenerbahçe started to see more of the ball, though they still lacked urgency. Indeed it was Dynamo who almost scored again, Kravets missing the opportunity to put the result beyond doubt when he burst clear, slid the ball past the advancing Volkan but in so doing underhit his shot, enabling Edu to get back to clear off the line. Maldonado's late red card added to Fenerbahçe's frustration, but Dynamo had already done enough to join Ukrainian rivals FC Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Metalist Kharkiv in the UEFA Cup Round of 32.
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