Champions League - Dinamo Zagreb share spoils with Dynamo Kiev

Champions League Group A, Maksimir Stadium - Dinamo Zagreb 1 (Krstanovic 90) Dynamo Kiev 1 (Yarmolenko 45)

Dinamo Zagreb shared the spoils with Dynamo Kiev in a 1-1 Champions League Group A stalemate amid farcical scenes caused by heavy snow in Croatia.

Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring for Kiev on the stroke of half-time in atrocious conditions at the Maksimir Stadium before Ivan Krstanovic won and scored a penalty with the last kick of the game.

The match was a dead rubber as neither team could improve on their positions on the final matchday, with Zagreb rock bottom and Kiev already qualified for the Europa League.

An almighty downfall of snow beforehand and during the first half meant meaningful football was a near impossibility.

Nevertheless the match did not lack for commitment and the few fans who did manage to turn out provided a decent atmosphere.

There had been no memorable action when the referee called the game off temporarily with the snow settling and covering the lines of the pitch.

The lines were eventually cleared, the snow eased off and about 15 minutes later play was restarted. Two minutes into the restart Domagoj Vida picked up a yellow as his sliding challenge took him a good 10 yards across the pitch, illustrating the precarious nature of the conditions.

It was Ideye Brown who had the first opportunity three minutes after the restart, but his toe poke from 10 yards went comfortably wide.

In the last kick of the first half, Yarmolenko opened the scoring, and what a goal it was, at odds with the rest of the half. Denys Garmash dinked a ball forward to Yarmalenko, who had his back to goal and swivelled brilliantly to loop a volley up and over Ivan Kelava, off the crossbar and into the net.

In the second half the snow eased off, but rain took its place and the pitch remained a state. The quality was similarly poor and it took until halfway through the second period for a chance to appear.

Fatos Beqiraj, who was shivering as he came out for the second half, was put clean through, but his attempt to arc the ball into the far corner was well wide.

A raft of substitutions and Kiev doing their best to keep the score as it was resulted in a scrappy last 20 minutes.

But with the last attack of the game, young Kiev goalkeeper Koval brought down the onrushing Krstanovic, and he striker took the penalty himself, sending the keeper the wrong way.

The Zagreb players celebrated as if they had won through to the second round, as it meant they avoided the unwelcome record of being only the third team in Champions League history to fail to score in the group stages.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Andriy Yarmolenko – Dynamo Kiev: Scored an absolute beauty of a goal in terrible conditions. He was the most dangerous player on the pitch, but was also vigilant going backwards.

PLAYER RATINGS

ZAGREB: Kelava 6, Ibanez 7, Simunic 7, Vrsaljko 6, Vida 5, Ademi 5, Mateo Kovacic 6, Sammir 6, Brozovic 5, Beqiraj 6, Cop 7. Subs: Pivaric 5, Krstanovic 8.

KIEV: Koval 7, Betao 6, Mikhalik 7, Taiwo 7, Miguel Veloso 5, Vukojevic 7, Yarmolenko 8, Garmash 5, Haruna 6, Dudu 6, Ideye 6. Subs: Bogdanov 5, Mehmedi 5, Marco Ruben 5.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS