Monday, January 16, 2017

Maccabi Tel Aviv v Dynamo Kiev: Rebrov and co still learning in Champions League

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 27 Sep 2015

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Sergei Rebrov believes Champions League inexperience accounted for Dynamo Kiev’s failure to beat Porto on matchday one, but says his side have worked hard ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Ukrainian champions returned to Europe’s elite competition after a two-year absence with a creditable 2-2 draw with Portuguese giants Porto earlier this month.

It could have been better for Kiev who took the lead through Oleg Husyev, but ultimately they were left thankful to a late leveller from Vitaliy Buyalsky.

Head coach Rebrov now takes his side to the Sammy Ofer Stadium in search of what would be a crucial three points in a difficult Group G that also includes English champions Chelsea.

And Kiev travel in high spirits having beaten Hoverla 2-0 on Saturday to maintain an unbeaten start to their Ukrainian Premier League campaign.

“There was a good sparring before an important game with Maccabi,” Rebrov told Kiev’s official website.

“Now we prepare for the next game. Of course, some things need to improve.

“Especially after the match with Porto. But for many players it was their first game in the Champions League.

“You can say that in that game there was five or six new players [in the Champions League].

“I am glad that we took a point [against Porto]. Yes, there were mistakes, but we have been through them and prepared well for the next game.”

Tel Aviv’s return to the Champions League after an 11-year absence did not end well as they were routed 4-0 at Chelsea.

The Israeli club followed that with a 2-1 home defeat to Hapoel Ra’anana, but head into the contest against Dynamo on the back of a morale boosting 2-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa.

Head coach Slavisa Jokanovic was delighted to see his team return to winning ways, but recognised that Dynamo represent a step up in quality.

“We have to be optimistic and try to improve our performance in the Champions League,” he told the club’s official website.

“We will play against a higher quality team than Maccabi Haifa and we have to play at a higher level as well.

“We have to show something different against Kiev than what we did against Chelsea.”

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