FC Dynamo Kyiv can reach the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in ten years by beating FC Porto but goalkeeper Stanislav Bogush says his side do not care about "statistics or history".
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FC Dynamo Kyiv can reach the knockout rounds for the first time in ten years with a victory against FC Porto, but goalkeeper Stanislav Bogush says his side do not care about "statistics or history".
Despite being competition regulars, the Ukrainian giants have not made the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League since 1998/99, when they advanced to the semi-finals under coach Valeri Lobanovskiy. Should they win at home to Porto on Wednesday, they will put a barren decade behind them, yet Bogush is unburdened by any historical duty. "We don't think about statistics or history," he said. "We have our job and we will strive to do it."
Olexandr Aliyev's brilliant free-kick in Portugal earned Dynamo a 1-0 success against Porto on Matchday 3, yet Bogush expects no favours from Jesualdo Ferreira's team in the sequel on home soil. "They need the win more than we do and they will go for it in Kiev, so we may play more on the counterattack," he said. "We need the victory too, but not losing is more important for us so it might be wiser to put a slight accent on defending."
Porto made Dynamo work on 21 October for their first group-stage away win since 2004/05, keeping Bogush busy especially after they went behind. The keeper, signed from FC Metalurh Zaporizhya in August, is under no illusions about the threat posed by the Portuguese champions. "Porto are a decent team," he said. "They are packed with world-class players who are quick, good on the ball, and love to have it at their feet. Porto impressed me. They also have quality defenders who are strong in the air, but I had more problems with their striker [Lisandro] and left-winger [Raul Meireles] – a quick lad – as well as the player who takes all the set-pieces [Lino]."
The 25-year-old has conceded just one goal in three Group G games, leaving Dynamo boasting one of the competition's best defensive records – only last season's finalists Manchester United FC and Chelsea FC have been more watertight. Bogush has also kept nine successive clean sheets in domestic football to keep Ukrainian international Olexandr Shovkovskiy on the bench. He is eager to share the credit, though. "The whole team look great at the moment," he maintained. "Not only the back four, but the entire side are playing well in defence and attack."
The forwards, however, have had little to show for their efforts in Group G with just two goals scored, both from dead-ball situations – Ismaël Bangoura's penalty against Arsenal FC on Matchday 1 and Aliyev's free-kick at Porto. "The standard of the Champions League is extremely high," said Bogush. "We have not been that sharp in attack but the final result is more important. The boys are picking up points and that's what matters in modern football."