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Dnipro strike late to reach first semi-final

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0 Club Brugge KV (agg: 1-0)
Substitute Yevhen Shakhov scored on 82 minutes as the Ukrainian side booked their place in a first-ever European semi-final.

Yevhen Shakhov celebrates scoring the goal that took Dnipro into their first European semi-final
Yevhen Shakhov celebrates scoring the goal that took Dnipro into their first European semi-final ©AFP/Getty Images

Dnipro beat Brugge to get to semi-finals for first time
Substitute Yevhen Shakhov hits winner eight minutes from final whistle
Visitors lose for first time this campaign, in 12 outings from group stage onwards
Belgian side suffer first UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League quarter-final defeat
Semi-final draw takes place in Nyon from 12.00CET on Friday

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk ended Club Brugge KV's record unbeaten run in the UEFA Europa League to book their place in the semi-finals for the first time, following a tense encounter in Ukraine.

Substitute Yevhen Shakhov struck the crucial goal via a deflection with just eight minutes remaining of this quarter-final second leg as Dnipro secured a historic triumph. The visitors had won six of their seven away games from the third qualifying round onwards, but were never quite able to find a way through here.

With Brugge setting a record last time out by going 11 games unbeaten in the competition proper, the home side knew the significance of a good start in the decider. However, chances were restricted as defences dominated the first half in Kyiv.

In the last eight of this tournament for the first time, the Ukrainian team created the only clear opportunity after 21 minutes had elapsed. Left-back Léo Matos met Ruslan Rotan's free-kick yet could only find the roof of the net with his header. Myron Markevych's men showed plenty of endeavour without threatening Matthew Ryan in the Brugge goal as the opening period ended goalless.

The second leg finally sprang to life following the restart as the Dnipryani almost found the breakthrough. Yevhen Konoplyanka, the most fouled played in this season's competition, conjured the first moment of real danger – whistling a left-footed effort narrowly wide of the far post.

Michel Preud'homme's charges responded via substitute Obbi Oularé. The No58 sent an attempt from distance just over the crossbar, having entered the field two minutes earlier. However, it would be another substitute that provided the decisive contribution. Rotan found Shakhov in space before the midfielder cut inside and let fly a deflected left-footed strike into the top corner with eight minutes remaining.

The Blauw-Zwart struggled to create chances in the final stages as their impressive European campaign – spanning 15 unbeaten matches until tonight – was halted and Dnipro prevailed to make the final four for the first time.

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