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Dynamo denied by Sheriff but still finish top

FC Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 FC Sheriff
The eliminated visitors had goalkeeper Dmitri Stajila to thank for a point in the Ukrainian capital, enough for Dynamo to win Group E.

Dynamo denied by Sheriff but still finish top
Dynamo denied by Sheriff but still finish top ©UEFA.com

FC Dynamo Kyiv may have been left frustrated by FC Sheriff goalkeeper Dmitri Stajila, but nevertheless secured top spot in Group E with a point against the section's bottom side.

With both teams' fate already secured, there was only the final placings to be decided in the Ukrainian capital. Dynamo knew victory would be enough to finish at the head of the pool and, though they were unfortunate not to guarantee that themselves, they nevertheless ended in top spot thanks to AZ Alkmaar's 3-0 win against FC BATE Borisov.

The visitors always looked up against it against Oleh Luzhny's side, lacking the ease on the ball which assured Dynamo of the early authority. Andriy Shevchenko's speculative free-kick may have been a wayward first shot in anger, but it was the second which typified their superiority. Their talismanic captain was at the hub once more, exchanging passes with Artem Milevskiy before unleashing a shot which was destined for the bottom corner until Stajila dropped adroitly.

Milevskiy proved the pivot once more just after half-time, laying off for Andriy Yarmolenko with an exquisite back-heel which the Dynamo No9 could only fire at Stajila. The Sheriff keeper stood his ground impressively to save with his legs on that occasion but adopted more conventional methods thereafter, making his presence felt to deny Yarmolenko and Shevchenko in quick succession.

In contrast, Dynamo counterpart Olexandr Shovkovskiy had scarcely been called into action by the time Sheriff won a 71st-minute corner. He was duly caught off guard and left grateful for Andriy Nesmachniy's presence on a post, Vladimir Volkov the man whose header was blocked on the line. Serghei Gheorghiev should have snuck a late winner for Sheriff but, in truth, it was Stajila's goal which had lived the charmed life.