|FC Dynamo Kyiv bowed out of the UEFA Champions League after losing 1-0 in their Group G clash with PSV Eindhoven in the Olympiyskyi Stadium in the Ukrainian capital. A goal on the stroke of half time from defender Andre Ooijer was enough to leave the Ukrainian side rooted to the bottom of the group, and keep the Dutch champions’ hopes of qualification well and truly alive.
Despite the host’s early dominance, PSV were able to soak up the pressure and looked impressive on the counter-attack. The lively Mateja Kezman was the Dutch side’s main creative threat during a match that saw clear-cut chances at a premium. After a first half of general midfield stalemate, Kyiv were forced to push men forward in search of an equaliser, leaving Kezman and Moroccan forward Adil Ramzi to apply pressure to the home side’s already stretched defence. The hosts were unable to break down the PSV defensive barrier, and every Kyiv player looked thoroughly dejected at the final whistle.
In a tight first half, it was Kyiv who almost opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, when Bialkevich saw his volley acrobatically punched clear by PSV 'keeper Ronald Waterreus. George Demetradze, Kyiv’s Georgian international forward was also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when his goalbound effort was somehow blocked by the PSV defence. The visitors attacks were few and far between, the closest they came to breaking the deadlock in the opening exchanges was when Ramzi was brought down in the box by Yuriy Dmytrulin. The Austrian referee had a long look at the incident, but opted to wave away the Eindhoven appeals.
The breakthrough came with almost the last action of the first period. Mark Van Bommel’s right-wing free-kick evaded everyone, except the unmarked Andre Ooijer. The PSV defender made no mistake from 2 metres, heading home comfortably and giving Olexander Shovkovskyi no chance in the Kyiv goal. The goal came against the run of play, but it seemed to knock the stuffing out of Kyiv who, despite knowing that they must win to stand any mathematical chance of qualification, were a different team in the second half.
PSV looked increasingly likely to add to their lead, as the home side pushed men forward in a bid to get something from the game. Kyiv created little in front of goal and looked to have run out of ideas by the time the referee blew for full time. PSV seemed rejuvenated by the half time interval, sweeping upfield as a tight unit on several occasions. Ramzi fired just wide of Shovkovskyi’s goal, before substitute Dennis Rommedahl almost gave the visitors a 2-0 lead with his first touch.
PSV took the three points in the end, and if they can win with performances like this, then who knows how far they can go. Dynamo were found wanting when it really mattered, and they must go back to the drawing board and form a plan to go one stage further next time.