A goal in FC Dynamo Kyiv's 4-1 UEFA Europa League round of 32 win at Beşiktaş JK meant Andriy Shevchenko added another eventful Istanbul night to his memory bank, though he maintained that a place in the last 16 was not certain just yet.
The 34-year-old striker got a generous reception from the BJK İnönü Stadyumu, and having scoring Dynamo's second goal, was applauded off the pitch. "I love playing here in Istanbul; the fans are really great," said Shevchenko. "
I've got nice memories of every game I played here, except for one," he added with a smile, remembering AC Milan's 2005 UEFA Champions League final loss to Liverpool FC in which he missed a penalty.
A 4-1 away win looks to have propelled Yuri Semin's men toward a round of 16 meeting with the winners of Aris Thessaloniki FC's tie with Manchester City FC, poised at 0-0 after the first leg, but Shevchenko is taking nothing for granted yet. "It was a good game for us, and the result is very positive, but if you ask have we qualified tonight, my answer is no," he said. "Beşiktaş are a strong side, and next week we have to be as tight as we were in the second half here. If we are, we'll go through."
Shevchenko laid on Ognjen Vukojević's 26th-minute opener for Dynamo, but Ricardo Quaresma's strike pegged his side back before the break. However, the visitors turned on the style in the second half. Shevchenko headed them back into the lead, Ayila Yussuf hit a third, then Oleh Gusev converted a penalty to make it 4-1. Quaresma's dismissal in the third minute of stoppage time was salt in the wound for Bernd Schuster's Black Eagles.
Dynamo showed little sign of it being their first competitive game in three months, and Vukojević said: "It was a good night for Dynamo Kyiv – we played as we should, and the result is extremely pleasing to us. I think we can score a couple in Kyiv too, in front of our own fans." Nigerian midfielder Yussuf added: "The first 45 minutes weren't that good, but we came out strong in the second half. And when you get the goals you deserve, that makes for a really good feeling."
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