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Three goals in the last 19 minutes gave FC Dynamo Kyiv victory against UEFA Champions League debutants FC Rubin Kazan and kept up their perfect home competition record against Russian visitors.
Rubin took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Alejandro Domínguez's free-kick and by the break Dynamo were struggling to find a way back. But it all changed after half-time as the Ukrainian champions began to create clear-cut chances and their endeavour was rewarded when Ayila Yussuf, Gérson Magrão and substitute Oleh Gusev found the target to give Dynamo the three Group F points.
Despite their free-scoring displays in Russia this season, with 20 goals in their last six games, Rubin opted for a more defensive approach in Kiev against a side fielding Artem Milevskiy, Andriy Shevchenko – on his first UEFA Champions League appearance for Dynamo since April 1999 – and Andriy Yarmolenko in attack. Sure enough, while Dynamo dominated possession from the off they found little room to create real chances. Magrão did send in two free-kicks each met by Yussuf, first with his left foot and then his head, but both times the ball went wide.
Rubin were relying on quick breaks down the wing but Aleksandr Ryazantsev and Gökdeniz Karadeniz were having little joy. However, on 25 minutes the visitors were in front. Russia captain Sergei Semak won a free-kick directly in front of goal and Domínguez lifted the ball over the wall and into the top corner past the stranded Olexandr Shovkovskiy.
Five minutes later Miloš Ninković came close to equalising after Vitali Kaleshin was unable to clear a long ball but, through on goal, the Serbian midfielder's miscued shot just past the post produced an audible sigh from the home fans. Dynamo continued to push and just before half-time Shevchenko crossed from the right only for teenager Yarmolenko to head off target from close range.
Having had no shots on target in the first half, Dynamo redoubled their efforts after the interval as they increased the pressure on Rubin. Shevchenko was unlucky to see a ten-metre volley fly over before his venomous free-kick was cleared by Rubin's midfield anchor Christian Noboa, deputising for the suspended Macbeth Sibaya.
Dynamo's toil soon had its reward, though, as Milevskiy – who earlier had a low shot saved by Sergei Ryzhikov – flicked on Magrão's corner and Yussuf rose highest to loop in a header. The Valeri Lobanovskiy Stadium faithful now produced an explosion of noise as they scented victory and Dynamo's players were not to disappoint.
Milevskiy and Magrão were piercing Rubin's defence with regularity and Ryzhikov was having to be at his very best. He did well to parry Roman Eremenko's long-range shot and was lucky when Gusev's angled effort went wide. But the goalkeeper could do nothing when another substitute, Tiberiu Ghioane, sent in a cross from the left, helped on by Shevchenko into the path of Magrão. His emphatic finish was followed by a wild celebration and six minutes later Gusev completed the victory, pouncing when Milevskiy's shot was blocked in the box to shoot past Ryzhikov.
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