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Kalinić double lifts Dnipro in Qarabağ win

Qarabağ FK 1-2 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Nikola Kalinić scored in each half to earn a first victory for Dnipro and lift them back into contention in Group F.

Nikola Kalinić scored twice for Dnipro
Nikola Kalinić scored twice for Dnipro ©FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

• Nikola Kalinić's 15th-minute header opens the scoring
• Leroy George draws Qarabağ level with a sensational free-kick
• Kalinić's second with 18 minutes to play earns Dnipro their first Group F win
Victory takes Dnipro level with Qarabağ in second spot on four points 
Next games: Internazionale v Dnipro, St-Étienne v Qarabağ (27 November)

Nikola Kalinić scored twice as FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk earned their first victory in Group F, winning 2-1 away to Qarabağ FK at the Tofig Bahramov Republican Stadium in Baku.

Kalinić scored in each half, either side of a brilliant free-kick by Leroy George for Qarabağ, as Dnipro made up for a 1-0 defeat by the Azerbaijani side in Kyiv a fortnight ago. Unlike in that match, the first half here was open, with both sides able to create chances. Early on, the best fell to Kalinić, whose eighth-minute header was tipped away by Ibrahim Šehić. The Croatian striker would not be denied for long.

Ruslan Rotan back-heeled the ball near the right corner flag to Artem Fedetskiy, who then did likewise to tee up Roman Zozulya. The forward's pinpoint cross picked out Kalinić to head beyond Šehić and put the finishing touch on an excellent move. 

Dnipro were dominating in the air and Šehić saved another Kalinić header on 27 minutes, before brilliantly tipping over an attempt by Fedetskiy. A second goal seemed likely, but surprisingly it came at the other end, George powerfully curling in a 25-metre free-kick that dipped in low to Denys Boyko's left.

Dnipro were soon back in the ascendancy, threatening in particular through Yevhen Konoplyanka down the left early in the second half. Zozulya headed wide in the 69th minute and then three minutes later Kalinić struck again, bundling in the ball as he fell trying to control a lofted pass, taking the Ukrainian side back into contention in the section as he did so.

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