FC Girondins de Bordeaux schemer Ludovic Obraniak admitted UEFA Europa League last-32 opponents FC Dynamo Kyiv were physically and technically superior during their first-leg draw in Ukraine. However, with home advantage and a good helping of self-belief, he remains hopeful of turning the tables in the return fixture on Thursday.
Last week, the Polish international cancelled out Lukman Haruna's 20th-minute opener with a stunning strike to secure a hard-earned 1-1 draw for the French visitors. Such cold facts only tell half the story of an encounter in which Oleh Blokhin's charges dominated for long periods and rattled the woodwork twice, including Oleh Gusev's second-half penalty that bounced back off the bar.
Given that Dynamo had not tasted competitive action since 4 December, the intensity of their display surprised Obraniak. "I noticed they were particularly fit and never stopped running," said the cultured midfielder. "For a team who had only been playing friendlies, they were technically and physically above us. I couldn't say the result was fair but we were rewarded for our courage."
The result and the manner in which they achieved it served as light relief, however: Bordeaux succumbed 4-0 at home to Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1 three days later. Bemused coach Francis Gillot described the defeat as "a nightmare" and with defenders Mariano and Benoît Trémoulinas struggling for fitness he has more to worry about. "It looks as if I'll have to rotate the lineup, which is a pity because we played so well during the group stage," he said.
The 1996 UEFA Cup runners-up have failed to reach the last 16 since that run to the final, but Obraniak is empowered by positive thinking. "The atmosphere will be different at home, it can spur us on," he told UEFA.com, Bordeaux's 12-match unbeaten streak at their Stade Chaban-Delmas in UEFA competition not lost on him.
"We will need to show much more going forward. We got into some good positions in Ukraine but failed to make the right decisions," the 28-year-old added. "We must remain confident. After all, the scoreline as it stands is a good one for us."