Andriy Shevchenko saw red for Dynamo Kyiv as the Ukrainians were held to a frustrating draw in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Braga.
Dynamo looked lively from the first whistle and took the lead after just six minutes when Andriy Yarmolenko fired home. Braga pulled level eight minutes later, Ognjen Vukojevic diverting the ball past his goalkeeper to hand the Portuguese side the advantage heading into the second leg. The hosts’ frustrating night was compounded just after the hour when former Chelsea striker and half-time substitute Shevchenko was dismissed after collecting two bookings in just 16 minutes.
Ahead of kick-off, Dynamo coach Yuri Semin claimed his side were the favourites not just for this match but also to reach the final, and his players appeared to have taken his words to heart as they made a bright start. They went ahead with the first clear-cut opportunity of the night as Oleg Gusev’s deep cross was met by the head of Yarmolenko, who buried the ball from 12 yards to give the hosts an early advantage.
But, despite continuing to dominate proceedings, their lead did not last long and they were pegged back on 14 minutes. On a rare foray forward by Braga, a cross from the left flank ricocheted onto Vukojevic, whose touch sent the ball past goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy and into the net.
Yarmolenko then had a fantastic chance to put Dynamo back in front but he blazed over from six yards when it would have been easier to hit the target. Gusev then had a couple of half-chances before the interval but neither really threatened Artur in the Braga goal.
Shevchenko was introduced by Semin at the interval, but the Dynamo legend did not have a positive impact on the tie. The 34-year-old was booked after 53 minutes for a foul on Miguel Garcia before receiving his second yellow eight minutes later when he rounded Artur and put the ball in the net, despite the assistant referee’s flag having been up for some time.
Referee Bjorn Kuipers was quick to dismiss Shevchenko, who remonstrated with the Dutch official, claiming that he did not hear the whistle. The dismissal appeared to take the sting out of the game with neither side creating much in the way of an attacking threat, but it will be the visitors who are much the happier with the result after a tight contest.