Feyenoord remain in the hunt for a place in the Champions League play-offs. Ronald Koeman saw his side defeated 2-1 at Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round first leg, but Ruben Schaken’s goal means the Ukrainians are not as comfortable as they would have liked to be going into the return fixture at De Kuip next week.
Ronald Koeman backed his team to create chances in Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium if it remained organised and showed spirit. It certainly panned out that way. Watched by a crowd of around 50,000, including over 300 Dutch fans, Feyenoord played a cute defensive game that kept the home side at bay in the first half.
Koeman would have ben less happy about his side’s inability to exploit the space behind the Dynamo defence. Feyenoord created eight chances in the first half alone, but Kyiv keeper Maksym Koval’s goal was never seriously threatened.
Daryl Janmaat was the most dangerous player in a Feyenoord shirt in the first half-hour. The defender pushed forward on a number of occasions, racking up no fewer than four shots on goal. But not long after the fourth attempt – which was just a metre or two wide – Janmaat was forced off with a groin strain.
The first half ended goalless, though Feyenoord would have been the happier of the two sides as the referee blew for half time.
The visitors returned for the second period full of confidence and were rewarded for their endeavours with a goal within four minutes of the restart.
The goal came out of some fine link-up play between Lex Immers and Ruben Schaken. Immers took possession on the left and swung in a perfectly weighted cross that Schaken finished with aplomb. It was a vital away goal for the visitors in the context of the tie.
Feyenoord were unable to hold on to the lead for long, though. The home side had only looked like a threat from dead-ball situations – the exception was an outstanding reflex from Erwin Mulder after an unfortunate touch by Stefan de Vrij – but it did force an equaliser ahead of the hour mark.
It looked like Mulder would deal comfortably with a high cross from the right, but he punched the ball against Immers’ back and it deflected into the net.
That gave Dynamo the impetus it was lacking and the Ukrainians began to tighten their grip on the game. Now Feyenoord found themselves with their backs against the wall.
Initially, it looked like the visitors would be able to soak up the pressure, but Dynamo ruthlessly punished a defensive error ten minutes after the equalising strike.
Ideye Brown managed to wriggle clear of Bruno Martins Indi as a cross came in from the right and the Nigerian’s header went in at the far post. It was Brown’s fifth strike of the season, as he already has four goals in the Ukrainian Premier league.
Brown continued to be the most dangerous man on the pitch in the closing stages. The Nigerian should have doubled his tally with around ten minutes left, but struck the bar with his close-range effort. Not long after Brown found himself with only Mulder to beat, but the Feyenoord keeper came out on top.
It meant that Feyenoord would leave Kyiv in a reasonably good position, knowing that a 1-0 win in next week’s return at De Kuip will secure a place in the play-off round.
Dynamo Kyiv – Feyenoord 2-1
49’ 0-1 Schaken
56’ 1-1 Immers (og)
69’ 1-2 Brown
Referee: Marriner (Eng)
Dynamo Kyiv: Koval; Silva, Betao, Mikhalik, Popov; Kranjcar (46' Goesjev)
, Veloso; Ninkovic, Yarmolenko, Vukojevic (55’ Milevsky); Ideye.
Feyenoord: Mulder; Janmaat (33’ Singh), De Vrij, Martins Indi, Nelom; Leerdam, Vormer (72’ Vormer), Clasie (89’ Kongolo), Immers; Schaken, Cissé.