By Marco Keller
FC Thun made it a UEFA Champions League debut to remember as Tiago Bernardini's late headed goal took them past group stage regulars FC Dynamo Kyiv and into the third qualifying round.
Thun, whose previous European experience consisted of two UEFA Intertoto Cup campaigns, drew 2-2 in Kiev last week, and were cheered on by 25,728 fans at the newly opened Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne tonight, their biggest home crowd for decades.
However, Dynamo nearly silenced the supporters within 40 seconds, Maksim Shatskikh missing from close range. Thun, who lost 5-1 at the weekend to FC St. Gallen, were woken up by this scare and began to find their shape, the defence protecting the first-leg hero, 20-year-old goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, and Silvan Aegerter going close but shooting high 24 minutes in.
Dynamo, without forward Serhiy Rebrov for disciplinary reasons, needed to score due to the away goals rule, but their next chance only came three minutes before the break, Florin Cernat missing narrowly with a volley from 20 metres.
The second half was to prove more of an attacking spectacle. Two minutes in Oleh Gusev tested Jakupovic with a cross, and then the Swiss side had their best chance so far. David Pallas Rey sent in the ball from the right and top scorer Mauro Lustrinelli came close with a header.
On the hour Aegerter's shot from 30 metres was splendidly saved by Olexandr Shovkovskiy, and Dynamo knew they had to up the tempo. Diogo Rincón's introduction was key to this and the Brazilian missed a chance in the 70th minute.
Two minutes later, Thun's long-time captain Andreas Gerber had a dangerous shot after a counterattack but Shovkovskiy saved that effort at the second attempt. With the home crowd now urging Thun on to the full, Dynamo's forays were continually repelled, and although five minutes from time they did break through, Valentin Belkevich's strike was deflected just off target by Arnaud Deumi.
Then came the denouement. Bernardini, who had not long been introduced as a substitute, headed the ball in. He had another chance later on, but it did not matter - Thun were through and now play Malmö FF of Sweden for a place in the group stage.