Yuri Semin said "an early and unusual goal changed everything" as FC Dynamo Kyiv lost 2-0 at home against FC Rubin Kazan to leave them facing it all to do next week.
Article top media content
Coach Yuri Semin said an "early and unusual goal" unsettled FC Dynamo Kyiv as Kurban Berdyev's FC Rubin Kazan side headed back to Russia with a 2-0 win from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.
Christian Noboa set up Alan Kasaev to score Rubin's opener on six minutes, with Bebras Natcho's second-half penalty serving to avenge a 3-1 defeat for the Russian side when they last visited the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage. Dynamo had their chances to hit back in the first half, but lost their way after going 2-0 behind and now have a mountain to climb in Tatarstan.
"We knew that Rubin would play the way they did, but an early and unusual goal changed everything," said Semin, the 64-year-old former FC Lokomotiv Moskva boss who oversaw a dramatic success against another Russian side, FC Spartak Moskva, at this stage of the competition two years ago in his last spell as Dynamo coach.
Rubin's early goal came courtesy of an aggressive start and an untimely slip from Dynamo defender Pape Diakhaté, which left Semin to rue defensive frailties. "Of course, we lack some consistency in defence," added Semin, whose side have played three league games this season compared to Rubin's 17. "We have to play in a more simple way. And Goran Popov's absence is another reason for our loss."
Badr El Kaddouri stood in for injured Macedonian international Popov and struggled to deal with Rubin's Turkish forward Gökdeniz Karadeniz, whose pass for Aleksei Medvedev invited the foul that gave Rubin their penalty.
"We had some chances in the first half, but after the break we didn't create a single opportunity," added Semin. "It's a pity, but the substitutions didn't work either. However, we're not going to give up. We'll prepare for the second leg, and time will tell."
Berdyev was his usual measured self as he reflected on a fine victory. "Due to our squad problems, we had to play the way we did," explained the Turkmenistan-born coach, 58. "Thanks to God, everything went well. The second match in Kazan will be extremely tough. Nothing is decided yet, because our opponent is a really distinguished one."