Pointless Kiev forced to aim for UEFA Cup

November 2, 2006

KIEV, Nov 2 (Reuter) - Dynamo Kiev's players, reeling from their fourth successive defeat in the Champions League, are determined to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

The Ukraine club lost 1-0 to Olympique Lyon on Tuesday to stay bottom of Group E, but they still believe they can finish third, ahead of Steaua Bucharest who lost to Real Madrid.

'It's a good thing that Real won,' Dynamo defender Badr Kadduri told the Web site dynamomania. 'It means we still have a chance to get into the UEFA Cup. Everything remains in our hands.'

Khadduri expressed frustration that Dynamo, who have scored only two goals and conceded 13 in four games, began to find their stride in the second half of Wednesday's match, but were unable to capitalise on their opportunities.

'We started to play in the second half and show what we can do by creating scoring chances,' he said.

Coach Anatoly Demyanenko adopted a philosophical tone on the team's lamentable record.

'The Champions League provides invaluable experience, useful to everyone, myself included,' he told a news conference. 'We have two matches left and we are going to fight our way into the UEFA Cup.'

Dynamo captain Serhiy Rebrov said club president Ihor Surkis had visited the dressing room to urge players to work towards next Monday's league tie against arch rivals Shakhtar Donetsk and the critical match with Steaua.

'The game against Shakhtar is now more important than the Champions League,' he told Dynamomania.

'Every team has ups and downs. We must think not about criticism but improving our game. We may have lost games but we are making fewer errors and that is the basis for optimism.'