Dynamo kyiv will be Benfica’s opponent in the Champions League play-off, after beating Austria’s Sturm Graz 2-1 after extra time (0-1 at 90′) on Tuesday night in the second leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA competition played in the Austrian city, after the 1-0 victory in the first leg, in Lodz (Poland) and qualified, with 3-1 on aggregate from the two matches.
After the 1-0 victory in the first leg in Lodz – goal by Oleksander Karavaev, at 28 ‘ -, the pupils of the Romanian Mircea Lucescu, who in 2021/22 also faced the eagles but already in the group stage of the League of champions (0-0 at Kyiv, 2-0 for Benfica at Luz), saw Sturm Graz, coached by Christian Ilzer, equalize thanks to a goal from Rasmus Hojlund in the 27th minute.
The result of the match at the Graz Libenau stadium did not change until the end of the 90s, Dynamo Kyiv regained the lead in a draw – and it is worth remembering that in the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, they eliminated Fenerbahçe, from Turkey, trained by the Portuguese Jorge Jesus (0-0 and victory in Istanbul, 2-1 after extra time, 1-1 at 90 ‘) – with a goal from Kostiantin Vivcharenko, at the 97th minute, for the tie in tonight’s game on Tuesday.
The draw advantage was back on the visitors’ side… and qualification for the final round before the UEFA Champions League group stage was only a matter of time.
A matter of time precipitated by the expulsion, with a second consequent yellow and red card, of the Austrian striker Manprit Sarkaria, at 105+1′, left Sturm Graz in numerical inferiority (ten players, for 11 of the Ukrainians) in the second an added time game, in which Viktor Tsygankov, assisted by Buyalskiy, made it 1-2 for Dynamo kyiv at 112′.
The first leg of the ‘play off’ between Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv will take place in Lodz, Poland – home loan to Dynamo Kyiv, unable to play in the Ukrainian capital, due to the ongoing war with Russia in the territory – the next 16. or the 17th of the current month, and the return match in Lisbon, at the Estádio da Luz, on August 23 or 24.
Benfica beat Denmark’s Midtjylland in that same Champions League 3rd qualifying round on that day, 7-2 in two games: after a 4-1 win at Luz, Roger’s men Schmidt again won the second duel, 3-1.