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 Dnipro beats Napoli 1:0 and goes to Europa League finals

A Yevhen Seleznyov winner saw off SSC Napoli in a rain-drenched Kyiv as FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk recorded a remarkable success to reach the final of a UEFA competition for the first time in their history.

Myron Markevych's side had never previously been past the quarter-final stage in European competition but they will tackle holders Sevilla FC for the UEFA Europa League trophy in Warsaw on 27 May after Ukrainian international Seleznyov headed a 58th-minute clincher. Denys Boyko was outstanding again in the Dnipro goal as the hosts held out against strong Napoli pressure, meaning a first piece of silverware since 1989 is 90 minutes away, Censor.NET reports citing the UEFA official website.

The first two minutes suggested we were in for an all-action evening - Gonzalo Higuaín nodding over at one end and Yevhen Konoplyanka's free-kick stinging the palms of Mariano Andújar at the other. However, the heavy rain that drenched the NSK Olimpiyskyi throughout also seemed to dampen attacking instincts and the game settled into a midfield battle.

The Serie A outfit initially played the conditions better, enabling Dnipro goalkeeper Boyko to renew his duel with Higuaín. Having denied the Argentinian numerous times in the semi-final first leg he produced more of the same this time, spreading himself to block excellently after Gökhan Inler's ball sent the striker clear before tipping the No9's flicked header a fraction wide.

Read also: Markevych dedicated Dnipro's victory to Ukrainian soldiers in the ATO area

Last week's result meant the onus was entirely on Napoli to attack yet it was Dnipro who came out looking to take the tie away from the visitors after the restart. Valeriy Luchkevych slipped a shot wide on the break before the galloping Seleznyov tested Andújar. It was the No11 who got his second of the tie on 58 minutes to shock Rafael Benítez's men, the forward showing outstanding strength to stand his ground and turn a Konoplyanka cross into the net from close range.

From that moment it was a backs-to-the-wall effort from the Ukrainian outfit and they survived as Dries Mertens zipped an attempt just wide, Boyko rebuffed David López and Douglas effected a clearing header on the line. Matheus almost killed off Napoli when hitting the crossbar in the dying seconds but it mattered not as Seleznyov's goal proved enough.

Players:

Napoli: Andujar, Maggio, Albiol, Britos, Ghoulam, Jorginho, David Lopez, Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne, Higuain

Dnipro: Boyko, Kankava, Kalinic, Luchkevych, Konoplyanka, Leo Matos, Cheberyachko, Douglas, Fedorchuk, Rotan, Fedetskiy

 
 
 
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