Fiorentina too good for ten-man Dynamo Kyiv
Thursday, April 23, 2015
ACF Fiorentina 2-0 FC Dynamo Kyiv (agg: 3-1)
Despite dominating throughout against opponents down to ten me for 40 minutes, the Viola had to wait until added time to seal progress.
Article top media content
• Fiorentina through to the semi-finals for the first time since 2008
• The Viola have 25 shots to Dynamo Kyiv's three but only seal it in 94th minute
• Jeremain Lens shown second yellow card before half-time with score 0-0
• As it happened / behind-the-scenes photos from the Stadio Artemio Franchi
• Semi-final draw takes place in Nyon from 12.00CET on Friday
ACF Fiorentina are through to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals after a win that ought to have been far more comfortable than it was.
The Viola dominated throughout in Florence, racking up 25 shots to FC Dynamo Kyiv's four. They were well on top even before the visitors had Jeremain Lens sent off five minutes before half-time, and though Mario Gomez swiftly scored, the tie hung in the balance until the 94th minute when substitute Juan Manuel Vargas broke, held off Yevhen Khacheridi and fired in from an acute angle.
Having grabbed a vital late equaliser in last week's quarter-final first leg, Fiorentina would have been through with a 0-0, yet it was immediately apparent that there was not even a semblance of thought to rest on their laurels. Vincenzo Montella's side burst out of the blocks, bombarding the beleaguered Olexandr Shovkovskiy.
Gomez went close to turning in Joaquín's cross and had an effort ruled out for offside, Mohamed Salah forced a save and Marcos Alonso rattled the crossbar with a vicious left-footed shot. And that was just the opening ten minutes. It has been Fiorentina's failing all season: translating their many chances into goals.
The barrage continued, but as Dynamo Kyiv gradually came into it, showing some of the form that had seen them go seven games unbeaten before this evening, doubts must have crept in. Would Fiorentina be made to pay? How coach Montella, in his goal-getting pomp, would have relished some of these opportunities.
No matter, just as the Ukrainian Premier-Liha leaders were gaining a tentative foothold, Lens was booked for simulation, his second yellow card. Three minutes later it went from bad to worse for Serhiy Rebrov's men as Joaquín whipped in a venomous centre that bounced just before Gomez, hitting the German's knee and rolling into the far corner. They all count.
Salah went up a gear after the restart, having an effort turned against the post by defender Danilo Silva early on, yet Fiorentina could not quite find the goal that would have clinched it. Instead the prospect of an equaliser loomed ever larger until Vargas made sure at the death.