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Konoplyanka penalty pushes Dnipro past Spurs

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur FC
Yevhen Konoplyanka's penalty enabled the Ukrainian side to prise a slim advantage to take to north London.

Dnipro No10 Yevhen Konoplyanka converts from the penalty spot
Dnipro No10 Yevhen Konoplyanka converts from the penalty spot ©AFP/Getty Images

Yevhen Konoplyanka's late penalty edged FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk past Tottenham Hotspur FC in their UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg.

In a match that could have ended with victory for either side, Juande Ramos claimed the spoils against the club he managed to English League Cup glory in 2008, after Konoplyanka drove his 81st-minute spot kick in off the upright.

The Ukrainian team exerted plenty of pressure on the high Tottenham back line in the early stages and should have taken the lead after 25 minutes as Matheus strode clean through only to clip his shot into goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

The Spurs custodian had to be alert again moment later to repel a stinging drive by the same player before Tim Sherwood's men threatened themselves. Nacer Chadli sliced a good chance wide from Danny Rose's cutback while the hosts' goalkeeper Denys Boyko was lucky not to concede after dribbling into Roberto Soldado before pouncing on the loose ball.

Soldado passed up an even better opportunity 11 minutes after half-time when Paulinho's low cross found the Spain forward with the goal vacant, yet somehow he fired over from close range. Christian Eriksen was introduced to add to the visitors' creativity and his impact was almost instant as he turned in Rose's pass with his first touch, only for the offside flag to rule out the effort.

Dnipro's attacks were becoming more sporadic, though Freidel remained alert whenever they prospered. The 42-year-old continued to hold sway in his duel with Matheus by parrying another strike before sprawling at the feet of Giuliano to block a further attempt.

Nonetheless he was unable to save Konoplyanka's penalty – awarded when Jan Vertonghen was adjudged to have felled Matheus – nor Roman Zozulya's late header which cannoned back off the post, as Ramos's side eked out a slender advantage to take to White Hart Lane.

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