R. Standard de Liège 0-0 FC Vorskla Poltava
The Belgian side utterly dominated in Group B, but it was visiting goalkeeper Serhiy Dolganskiy who came away with most credit in a subdued encounter.
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R. Standard de Liège were unable to get any change out of a meek-looking FC Vorskla Poltava, with a goalless draw coming as a relief for the visitors in UEFA Europa League Group B.
José Riga's Standard were beaten 5-0 in the league at RSC Anderlecht at the weekend, and still looked a little shaken as they returned to European action. They had the better chances, with Gohi Bi Cyriac drawing a splendid save from the busy Serhiy Dolganskiy in the first half, but for all of their dominance, they never did enough to truly rattle a rickety Vorskla defence.
While attacking midfielder Roman Bezus once more demonstrated the mosquito-like ability to irk defenders which sent him into this game as the group stage's most fouled player, Mykola Pavlov's men barely laid a glove on Standard, and Cyriac's volley on the half-hour drew a fittingly spectacular save from Dolganskiy and hinted at further excitement to come.
Momentum soon dissipated, though Dolganskiy did well to charge down a Luis Manuel Seijas shot from a narrowing angle. Bezus did not emerge for Vorskla after the interval, Standard captain Jelle Van Damme was taken off soon afterwards, and neither side looked to have much appetite for the game after that, though the home side had plenty of chances.
Armend Dallku cleared off the line after Yoni Buyens beat Dolganskiy to a ball from the right, but a meek Seijas trundle at one end and an Ivan Kryvosheyenko effort charged down at the other were more representative of a stop-start encounter. Dolganskiy fielded a deflected Kanu effort, Nacho González planted a header wide, Cyriac had an effort forced off target; Vorskla clung on grimly, but need to show in attack when these sides meet again in Ukraine on matchday four.