FC Sheriff blew UEFA Europa League Group E wide open as a bizarre goal from Aleksandr Erokhin set them on course for a historic 2-0 victory over FC Dynamo Kyiv, according to UEFA.com.
Erokhin was the beneficiary on eight minutes when Denys Boyko thumped a clearance right at him. The Dynamo goalkeeper could only watch, helpless, as the ball sailed over him and into the net. He could do nothing about Jymmy França`s penalty before half-time, either, as Sheriff became the first Moldovan club to overcome Ukrainian opposition in UEFA competition since independence.
The home crowd arrived at the Stadionul Sheriff more with hope than expectation but must have begun thinking it was their night from the moment Erokhin`s freak goal made it 1-0. That inkling only strengthened when an Oleh Gusev chip was cleared off the goal line by José Nadson, and eight minutes before half-time Sheriff doubled their advantage.
Miloš Adamović`s deep cross looked innocuous enough but was inexplicably met by Yevhen Khacheridi`s outstretched hand; Jymmy França made no mistake from the spot. Dynamo were shell-shocked, even if they could have reduced the deficit before the interval had Ognjen Vukojević not directed his header straight at Vladislav Stoyanov.
Valeri Gazzaev opted to tinker rather than rebuild at the interval, bringing on a new left-back in the shape of Goran Popov. It was not a dramatic change in any sense but slowly Dynamo found their passing, imposed their tempo. They even had the ball in the net before the hour, but Vukojević`s celebrations were curtailed by the assistant referee`s raised flag for offside.
Edgars Gauračs squandered a golden opportunity to make the game safe on the counterattack while Vladimir Volkov had a blistering strike tipped over but it mattered not – Dynamo could not muster a response.