Dynamo Kyiv bounces back with 2-0 shutout of Dinamo Zagreb in Champions League
Oleh Blokhin made a winning start in his first Champions League match as Dynamo Kyiv coach, the Ukrainian team beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in the group stage on Wednesday.
Dynamo Kyiv midfielder Oleh Gusev found the net in the third minute, and Dinamo Zagreb defender Josip Pivaric scored an own goal in the 33rd from Taye Taiwo's cross into a crowded box.
Blokhin signed a four-year contract at Kyiv last month and will shortly relinquish his duties as Ukraine national team coach.
Dynamo Kyiv has three points from two games in Group A, while Dinamo Zagreb remains without a point.
FC Porto leads the standings with 6 points after beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the other group game. PSG has three points.
Dynamo Kyiv came out with a fast, pressing tempo to allow Gusev to score by meeting Ognjen Vukojeic's 25-meter cross with a projectile header past leaping goalkeeper Ivan Kelava.
"We started the match well and scored a quick goal," Blokhin said. "And the opposite side appeared to become scared of what was shown on the scoreboard and the kind of play we showed on the pitch in the first 20 minutes. We should have scored two to three goals more and finish the match off with a stellar result. We practically didn't allow them to create anything at our net."
"In the second half, we made adjustments since we led 2-0. We put in a substitute to strengthen the central field but a few moments weren't to my liking as our side allowed deep penetration. Nonetheless, Why?"
As the first half progressed, though, Dinamo Zagreb started to enjoy more possession and seemed to have regained its composure following the nightmare start.
Dinamo Zagreb's first incursion into opposition territory came in the 11th minute and ended with midfielder Sammir having a shot blocked.
Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Marcelo Brozovic lured Dynamo Kyiv goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy out of his box in the 25th minute but failed to find the empty net.
The Zagreb team kept the pressure on dangerous midfielders Andriy Yarmolenko and Oleg Gusev.
The visitors began dominating possession in the second half, their forays into opposition territory giving them encouragement.
Shovkovskiy was pressed into service for the first time by substitute Duje Cop's drive from the edge of the penalty area in the 55th minute.
Shovkovsky's clearing kick in the 59th bounced back from an opposing player's heel, forcing the 'keeper to beat the forward in a race to the ball to save his blushes.
"We knew we're travelling to play against a strong opponent, so therefore we thought we'd avoid a loss," said Dinamo Zagreb coach Ante Cacicid. "But the first 30 minutes of the match showed that Kyiv were really strong. The first goal forced us to change our plan for the game completely. Thus, the early goal impacted the result of the match."
The last time the two sides met was in the third qualifying round of the 2003-04 Champions League, with Dynamo Kiev winning 3-1 at home and 2-0 away.
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