Ognjen Vukojević's second-half header ensured FC Dynamo Kyiv will take a slender lead into the second leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 16 tie against Ukrainian rivals FC Metalist Kharkiv next Thursday.
Dynamo, who defeated their opponents 2-0 in the Premier League on 4 March, struggled to break down their defensive-minded visitors during the first half. That all changed, though, when Vukojević headed in Olexandr Aliyev's right-wing corner at the far post nine minutes after the interval. The midfielder was booked soon after and will miss the second leg – as will opponent Seweryn Gancarczyk – yet his goal, the first Metalist have conceded in seven games in the competition, could prove decisive.
That mean defence has held firm since the first round second leg on 2 October, underpinning the visitors' progress in the tournament, and their intentions were evident early on with Myron Markevich's charges opting to sit back. In the opening 15 minutes, Aliyev twice tried his luck from range, but Metalist's defensive shield ensured both of those efforts were cleared before they could trouble goalkeeper Olexandr Goryainov.
Metalist's attacks were rare, but they would have taken the lead had Serhiy Valyayev not shot over from close range after 16 minutes. It was all Dynamo for the remainder of the half but a packed Metalist rearguard ensured there were few clear-cut chances, though Carlos Corrêa almost made the breakthrough eight minutes before the break only to pull his shot wide of the right-hand post.
Artem Kravets headed over moments before half-time but Dynamo's advances were ultimately rewarded soon after the restart as Vukojević struck. The hosts continued to push for a second goal and it Aliyev almost delivered it in unlikely circumstances when his corner forced Goryainov to save with his feet. Goryainov then denied Vukojević but Dynamo's quest for a two-goal cushion almost proved costly when, with two minutes remaining, Metalist substitute Marko Dević got a sight of goal but Stanislav Bogush kept out his header.