Khatskevich satisfied, Martins feels best team lost

Khatskevich satisfied, Martins feels best team lost

After beating Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, Dynamo Kyiv manager Alyaksandr Khatskevich expressed his satisfaction with qualification, but Pedro Martins thought the best team lost.

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With the tie level at 2:2 after the first match in Piraeus, both teams had reason to be confident, but to Olympiacos’ disappointment, it was Dynamo Kyiv who emerged victorious. In a tight, tense first half, Fran Sol stole in at the near post to give the Ukrainians a precious lead, an advantage which they protected for the remainder of the game. In the latter stages of proceedings, Ahmed Hassan and Miguel Angel Guerrero spurned glorious opportunities for Olympiacos, however the Greeks didn’t ask enough questions of the sturdy Ukrainian defence.

Dynamo Kyiv head coach Alyaksandr Khatskevich was happy to qualify for the next phase, pointing out the performance of his goalkeeper: “The main thing is the result,” stated Khatskevich. “It was a tough match, the pitch wasn’t great, but we move on in the competition. At times, I really liked how we moved out from defence into attack, that aspect worked effectively for us. In the second half, we didn’t play overly well, but Denys Boyko made important saves.

We asked our players to send more crosses towards the near post and we scored a superb goal. Olympiacos worked to correct their mistakes, and in the second frame, they controlled the game. Comparisons between this Dynamo team and the side last year? In 2018, we had a more experienced team, whereas we have younger players now. There’s no point in making comparisons.

Let’s see who we get in the draw for the Round of 16. Such matches help you gain experience.”

Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins felt that the Greeks were better in Kyiv, despite failing to score at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium: “In my opinion, we played better, but unlike us, Dynamo managed to take advantage of the opportunities which came their way. Both matches were evenly balanced, and in Piraeus, we had chances to lead 2:0 and 3:1 before Dynamo scored their two equalising goals. At the moment, we have a very demanding schedule, and maybe this played a role in the result. We were also missing a lot of players today, but we cannot use this as an excuse.”

Winger Giorgos Masouras is looking ahead to future matches in the Super League and Greek Cup for Olympiacos: “Many factors contributed to us losing in this match. We couldn’t correct the mistakes which we made. I don’t think that Dynamo were better than us, but the first match in Piraeus cost us. We now want to win all of the remaining matches in the championship and claim the Greek Cup.”

Olympiacos teammate Daniel Podence thought that the referee favoured the Ukrainians: “The pitch was bad, and the referee constantly made decisions in favour of the opponents. This result isn’t a fair reflection of the match. We defended well, created chances in attack, but we couldn’t score. Sometimes, the result in football doesn’t go your way.”

Spanish forward Fran Sol, who scored the winning goal for Dynamo, shared his thoughts when speaking to Cosmote TV: “I feel happy. We worked really hard on the pitch, and Denys Boyko’s performance was very important. This was my first goal for Dynamo, so I was delighted to celebrate it in front of our fans. They gave us great support today, consequently giving us the strength to win.”


by Shaun Nicolaides

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