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FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk maintained their hopes of finishing top of UEFA Europa League Group E with a 4-1 win against CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu.
Dnipro were already qualified and Pandurii eliminated prior to Thursday's meeting in Ukraine, and the result was rarely in doubt. Roman Zozulya was the hosts' driving force throughout, registering one and playing a role in the other three, scored by Nikola Kalinić, Yevhen Shakhov and Serhiy Kravchenko. The Romanians briefly threatened to launch a comeback when Eric Pereira struck from the penalty spot.
The tone, though, was set after only 12 minutes, Kalinić swivelling smartly to finish emphatically after Zozulya had chested down Alexander Kobakhidze's cross. Zozulya and Kalinić were to prove a potent combination throughout and both went close again before the break. Visiting goalkeeper Pedro Mingote should also have been required on the stroke of half-time, but Kravchenko side-footed over following Kalinić's deft stepover.
It was little surprise that it was Zozulya who doubled Dnipro's advantage 11 minutes after the interval. The sprightly Ukrainian international raced onto Kravchenko's through ball, rounded Mingote and stroked into the empty net.
That seemed to signal the end of Pandurii's challenge, yet they were back in the game with 20 minutes left. Substitute Oleksandr Svatok was adjudged to have fouled Admir Adrović and Pereira converted unerringly from the spot.
Zozulya would have had a late second himself had it not been for Mingote's smart stop, but he nevertheless had plenty of say in the closing exchanges. It was the Dnipro No18's strength and awareness that played in substitute Shakhov for his team's third – and his persistence that led to Kravchenko rifling in the final goal of the night.
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