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Dynamo grab chance to end knockout exile

Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
The hosts made it through to the tournament's last 16 for the first time since 1999/2000 thanks to Denys Garmash's solitary first-half goal.

Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 M. Tel-Aviv
Highlights: Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 M. Tel-Aviv
  • Dynamo end 16-year absence from last 16 of UEFA Champions League
  • Denys Garmash pounces for 16th-minute clincher at NSK Olimpiyskyi
  • Maccabi put up resistance but become 17th club to finish group stage point-less
  • Dynamo's Andriy Yarmolenko withdrawn early because of injury
  • The round of 16 draw takes place at 12.00CET on Monday

Dynamo Kyiv got the victory they needed at home to Maccabi Tel-Aviv to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since season 1999/2000.

Serhiy Rebrov's side had earned themselves a golden chance of qualification with a surprise matchday five win at then-group leaders Porto, and tonight they followed up with the required result to finish second behind Chelsea in Group G.

Denys Garmash's 16th-minute goal set the Ukrainian title holders on their way, snaffling the rebound after Maccabi goalkeeper Predrag Rajković made a near-post save from his own player, Tal Ben Chaim, following a Serhiy Rybalka free-kick.

Olexandr Shovkovskiy punches clear
Olexandr Shovkovskiy punches clear©AFP/Getty Images

Rajković, at 20 half the age of opposite number Olexandr Shovkovskiy, had earlier tipped over a Júnior Moraes strike and seen a Garmash header flagged offside. Still, it was not all home comfort for a Dynamo team playing behind closed doors after fan disturbances on matchday three: the talismanic Andriy Yarmolenko did himself an injury with a nasty-looking stretch and departed the scene soon after the breakthrough.

Moreover, Eran Zahavi's free-kick nearly embarrassed Shovkovskiy, Dor Miha applied a wayward finish to a promising Maccabi attack, and Eli Dasa came close to converting Miha's centre as Slaviša Jokanović's men sought to avoid becoming the 17th side to exit the group stage without a point.

The Israeli champions continued to be no pushovers after the interval, although Garmash – from another Rybalka delivery – should have headed a second and Antunes blazed narrowly wide from distance. Dynamo's first home victory in the section was eventually secured by a relief-inducing final whistle, Rebrov and company advancing to the tournament's spring phase for the first time since the coach was scoring goals under the great Valeriy Lobanovskyi.

Serhiy Rybalka on the left
Serhiy Rybalka on the left©AFP/Getty Images

Key player: Serhiy Rybalka
On an increasingly tense evening in Kyiv, Dynamo could be thankful for the early opener created by Rybalka's set-piece mastery. It was the Ukraine midfielder's right-sided free-kick that led to the all-important goal, and a similarly impressive delivery at the beginning of the second period ought have resulted in a second.

Garmash is Johnny-on-the-spot
The Ukrainian international midfielder might have had a hat-trick, considering his disallowed effort and glaring miss at the start of either half. The one he did put away, however, settled the hosts as they made certain of the qualifying place that dangled tantalisingly before them.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images