Dynamo Kyiv twice came from behind at Olympiacos and will look to build on that 2-2 draw as the teams reconvene in Ukraine.
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The first meeting in 44 years of Olympiacos and Dynamo Kyiv ended with honours even in Piraeus as the visitors twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw that should provide them with encouragement for the second leg in the Ukrainian capital.
• Both clubs came through the group stage, Dynamo making relatively serene progress through Group K and clinching their qualification as section winners ahead of Rennes, Astana and Jablonec with a game to spare.
• Olympiacos booked their place as Group F runners-up in memorable fashion on matchday six with a 3-1 home win over AC Milan that enabled them to leapfrog their illustrious Italian opponents into second place, behind Real Betis, on goal difference.
• The highlight of the first leg was a sumptuous long-range strike from Olympiacos's new recruit Gil Dias that put the Greek side 2-1 ahead following earlier goals from Koka and Vitaliy Buyalskiy. However, an 89th-minute equaliser from Dynamo's Slovenian international Benjamin Verbič – his third goal in the last four UEFA Europa League games – sealed a draw for the visitors.
• The clubs' one previous European engagement was in the first round of the 1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup, Dynamo winning the tie 3-2 when they added a 1-0 home win to a 2-2 first-leg away draw.
• Dynamo's record at home to Greek sides is W3 D1, the one draw, 0-0 against AEK Athens in the first leg of last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32, proving sufficient to take them through on away goals after a 1-1 draw in Athens, making it three two-legged wins out of three against Greek opposition.
• Olympiacos have visited five different clubs in Ukraine (W2 D1 L2). They have lost both of their UEFA Europa League knockout ties against Ukrainian opposition, going out in the round of 16 to Metalist Kharkiv in 2011/12 (1-0 away, 1-2 home) and the round of 32 to eventual runners-up Dnipro in 2014/15 (0-2 away, 2-2 home).
• Ukrainian league runners-up to Shakhtar Donetsk last term, Dynamo entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they defeated Slavia Praha (1-1 away, 2-0 home) before going out by the same aggregate score in the play-offs to Ajax (1-3 away, 0-0 home).
• Dynamo's sixth UEFA Europa League group stage campaign proved, like four of the previous five, to be successful, three wins and two draws securing a safe passage with a game to spare.
• The club's best UEFA Europa League performance was in 2014/15, when they reached the quarter-finals, having also been semi-finalists in the last UEFA Cup of 2008/09. This is their sixth round of 32 tie, three of their previous five having ended in victory; last season's success against AEK was preceded by an 8-1 win against Beşiktaş in 2010/11 (4-1 away, 4-0 home) and a 4-3 defeat of Guingamp in 2014/15 (1-2 away, 3-1 home). Their home record in the round of 32 is W2 D2 L1.
• Dynamo were beaten 1-0 at home by Jablonec on matchday six – just the second defeat in their last 13 European matches in Kyiv (W7 D4), the other being 0-2 against Lazio in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16, which led to their elimination. All of Dynamo's exits from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League knockout phase have come after they failed to win their home leg; the only tie they have won in those competitions without recording a victory at home was last season's round of 32 away-goals success against AEK.
• Dynamo have qualified 11 times out of 13 after drawing the first leg away from home in a European tie, most recently in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round against Slavia Praha. They have drawn the first leg 2-2 away on four occasions, prevailing on the first three, starting with that 1975/76 success against Olympiacos, but losing the most recent in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16 against Lazio.
• Last season Olympiacos surrendered the Greek Superleague title they had won in each of the previous seven campaigns, finishing third behind AEK Athens and PAOK to end up in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round. There they handsomely defeated Luzern (4-0 home, 3-1 away) before seeing off Burnley in the play-offs (3-1 home, 1-1 away).
• Olympiacos's maiden UEFA Europa League group stage participation, in 2016/17, ended in qualification for the knockout phase on the head-to-head rule. This season it was goal difference that proved decisive as they matched Milan for both points (ten) and 3-1 home wins. The Piraeus club drew two blanks against Betis (0-0 home, 0-1 away) but put seven goals past bottom side Dudelange (2-0 away, 5-1 home) to secure their advantage.
• Although Olympiacos have been involved in only two UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, this is the sixth time they have participated in the knockout phase. They have won just two of their five round of 32 ties – against Rubin Kazan in 2011/12 (1-0 away, 1-0 home) and Osmanlıspor in 2016/17 (0-0 home, 3-0 away). Their away record at this stage of the competition is W2 L3, the two wins sealing further progress, the three defeats heralding elimination.
• Outside of the summer qualifying phase the Piraeus club have lost six of their last seven European away fixtures, the exception a 2-0 win at Dudelange in Luxembourg on matchday three. Their overall away record in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, is W5 D1 L7.
• Olympiacos have won only one of the 12 UEFA ties in which they were held to a home first-leg draw – that success against Osmanlıspor two years ago. On the most recent of the four occasions that they drew the first leg 2-2 in Piraeus, against Liverpool in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup, they lost the Anfield return 2-0 against the eventual winners of the competition. The previous instance was that 1975/76 tie against Dynamo.
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Fran Sol, Mykyta Kravchenko
Out: Vladyslav Kalitvintsev, Mykola Morozyuk
In: Giorgos Masouras, Gil Dias, Yuri Lodygin
Out: Giannis Fetfatzidis, Andreas Gianniotis, Nahuel Leiva, Yaya Touré
Links and trivia
• Lazaros Christodoulopoulos featured for AEK Athens in both games against Dynamo at this stage of last season's UEFA Europa League, providing the assist for the Greek club's first-leg equaliser.
• Dynamo goalkeeper Denys Boyko helped Dnipro to their 4-2 aggregate win against Olympiacos in the 2014/15 round of 32, starting both matches.
• Josip Pivarić played twice for Dinamo Zagreb against Olympiacos in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage, providing an assist but also receiving a red card in a 2-1 defeat in Piraeus.
• Olympiacos head coach Pedro Martins was in charge of Rio Ave as they lost both games against Dynamo in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage (0-3 home, 0-2 away). Current Olympiacos players Ahmed Hassan and Roderick played for Rio Ave in the second fixture.
• Olympiacos are the only Greek club still active in Europe this season.
• There has been at least one team from Greece and Ukraine involved in the round of 32 in all ten UEFA Europa League campaigns. The only other countries boasting that ever-present record are England, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain.
• The first-leg result in Piraeus was Dynamo's 19th draw in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final – the most by a club in the competition, one more than Lazio.
• Dynamo Kyiv's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
3-1 v Sparta Praha, 1998/99 UEFA Champions League 2nd qualifying round
• Olympiacos have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.
• Hired as Dynamo coach in July 2017, Aleksandr Khatskevich won seven successive league titles with the club as a player between 1997 and 2004, having also claimed four straight championships with Dinamo Minsk in his native Belarus. He later worked with Dynamo's youth and reserve teams before taking charge of the Belarus national side from 2014 to 2016. He was capped 38 times by his country, scoring four international goals, three of them in qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
• Pedro Martins was named Olympiacos coach in April 2018, becoming the club's fifth Portuguese boss in six years after Leonardo Jardim, Vítor Pereira, Marco Silva and Paulo Bento. Martins had not previously worked outside his homeland, his last three spells in the dugout before the move to Greece having brought UEFA Europa League qualification for Marítimo, Rio Ave and Vitória Guimarães. A holding midfielder, he was capped once by Portugal during a three-year spell with Sporting CP from 1995–98.