FC Dynamo Kyiv continued their vast improvement in the UEFA Champions League as a fabulous first-half strike from Olexandr Aliyev condemned FC Porto to only their second home defeat in 22 matches in the competition.
The Ukrainian side had not collected three points on their travels since Matchday 1 of the 2004/05 campaign yet Aliyev's swerving 27th-minute free-kick proved enough for victory against a Porto side who failed to make the most of their second-half possession. The win takes Dynamo second in Group G with five points, continues their unbeaten start and leaves Yuri Semin's unbeaten side well placed to reach the last 16 while Porto have now lost their last two matches and must take something from their trip to Kiev on Matchday 4 to maintain realistic hopes of progressing.
Despite losing seven of their last nine away fixtures in the competition Dynamo are much improved under Semin, and Porto struggled to impose their usual rhythm. Indeed, it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, but Rolando's tackle put a stop to Ismaël Bangoura's swift break down the right. While Dynamo's solid defence and midfield frustrated the Portuguese champions, Bangoura continued to give the home back line plenty to think about, working the channels expertly with his pace and trickery. Porto, however, persisted with their neat passing approach and nearly gained reward when Lucho's close-range effort was deflected against the post by Stanislav Bogush after excellent work down the left by the tireless Lisandro.
Lino's set-pieces also looked potentially promising for the home side, but it was Dynamo who made a free-kick count in spectacular style, Aliyev thumping a 30-metre shot into the net with Nuno wrong-footed. Porto responded immediately and might have pulled level moments later when another surge from Lisandro ended in the striker fizzing a shot fractionally past the far post with Bogush beaten. Cristián Rodríguez was next to worry the goalkeeper, cutting in from the right and beating two Dynamo defenders before sending a powerful shot just past the post.
Home coach Jesualdo Ferreira nevertheless opted to change things at half-time, sending on an extra striker in the shape of Hulk. The adventurous approach nearly paid off instantly, Cristian Săpunaru heading a Lino free-kick wide, yet Dynamo remained determined and resolute and only Lino's last-ditch sliding tackle prevented Badr El Kaddouri making it 2-0 on the hour after a defensive mix-up. With the home fans getting restless Tarik Sektioui came on and immediately set up Hulk with a clever flick only for the Brazilian to drag his shot wide. Hulk then tried his luck from outside the area but just missed the target.
As Porto struggled to find a way through a disciplined Dynamo rearguard, the visitors passed up a great chance to clinch the points when the excellent Miloš Ninković fired over when well placed. Hulk almost made them pay late on but failed to direct his close-range header on target and with that went Porto's last chance.