Football: History favours Dynamo

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The Independent Online
THE EUROPEAN Super Cup may not rank high on every club's list of priorities, but in 1975 it provided Dynamo Kiev with their most memorable European victory to date.

Dynamo, the holders of the Cup-Winners' Cup, beat the European Cup winners Bayern Munich - in the second year of their three-year reign as European champions - home and away with a 1-0 win in Munich and a 2-0 win in Kiev.

The 22-year-old Oleg Blokhin, voted Europe's best player that year, grabbed all three of Dynamo's goals and his first, at a sell-out Olympic Stadium in Munich, saw him go around four defenders before beating the Bayern goalkeeper Sepp Maier to score.

Now Ukrainian fans hope history will repeat itself and their new hero, Andriy Shevchenko, also 22, could do the same in front of the anticipated 86,000 sell-out crowd at Kiev's Olympic Stadium in the first leg of the European Cup semi-final against Bayern tonight.

As well as the Super Cup matches, Dynamo and Bayern have played four other matches in European competition, with Kiev winning a European Cup quarter-final 2-1 on aggregate in the 1976-77 season and Bayern winning two Champions' League matches in the 1994-95 season, 1-0 and 4-1.

Now, under their veteran coach Valery Lobanovsky, who led them to two Cup-Winners' Cup trophies in 1975 and 1986, Dynamo want to overcome injury-hit Bayern again and reach their first European Cup final.

The Germans, chasing their first win in Europe's top club competition since the last of three consecutive triumphs in 1976, will be without three of their most important players.

All three, the French left-back Bixente Lizarazu, the Brazilian striker Giovane Elber and the midfielder Mario Basler, are nursing knee injuries, with Lizarazu and Elber facing lengthy lay-offs.

To add to Bayern's injury problems, their combative German international midfielder Jens Jeremies, who scored an outstanding goal for his country against Finland last week, has a sore thigh muscle, but is expected to play.

Bayern, who had won their last eight matches without conceding a goal, had to be content with a 2-2 draw at their big Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. They fought back from two goals down and then needed a penalty save by their goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn, from Lars Ricken, but managed to stretch their lead over second-placed Kaiserslautern to 15 points.

Meanwhile, Lobanovsky will have all his top players, who make up the bulk of Ukraine's national team, healthy and ready to go tonight. However, some of them looked sluggish in their last two matches - against Tavria Simferopol in the domestic league and in Uraine's European qualifier against Iceland a week ago.

Even Shevchenko, who is the top scorer in European club competition this season with nine goals, has been without a goal in his last three matches after scoring at least once in his six previous games.

Shevchenko's team-mates also hope that their top marksman will regain his scoring touch in time for Bayern, as he did back in 1994. Then an 18-year-old newcomer, he scored Dynamo's lone goal against Jean-Pierre Papin and company in the return leg in Kiev.

Dynamo Kiev (probable): Shovkovsky; Luzhny, Golovko, Vashchyuk, Kaladze, Khatskevich, Gusin, Kosovsky, Yashkin, Shevchenko, Rebrov.

Bayern Munich (probable): Kahn; Babbel, Matthaus, Linke, Tarnat, Strunz, Jeremies, Effenberg, Salihamidzic, Jancker, Zickler.