There was nothing between Dynamo Kyiv and AEK Athens in a first leg that finished 1-1, although Viktor Tsygankov's away goal could prove crucial for the Ukrainian side.
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Level at 1-1 going into this UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg, there is everything to play for as Dynamo Kyiv entertain an AEK Athens side who have equalled a competition record by drawing their last six matches.
• Undefeated runners-up of Group D behind AC Milan, AEK made it through to the knockout phase with just eight points – the joint-lowest tally of the 24 qualifiers – while Dynamo cruised through to the round of 32 with two games to spare, and scored 15 times in eventually winning Group B by five points.
• Honours were even in the OAKA Spiros Louis Stadium as Dynamo took an early lead through Viktor Tsygankov but were eventually pegged back by AEK substitute Astrit Ajdarević's 80th-minute equaliser.
• While AEK had never faced opposition from Ukraine prior to this tie, Dynamo have a positive record against Greek clubs, although the victories they achieved in their two knockout ties, against Olympiacos and PAOK, were both back in the mid-1970s.
• Since then, in addition to this first leg they have played just two more matches, losing 2-1 at Panathinaikos before winning by the same margin at home in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Dynamo are unbeaten in their last six European home fixtures, winning five of them, and have also avoided defeat in their last ten UEFA Europa League fixtures in Kyiv, play-offs included (W8 D2).
• The Ukrainian side have failed to keep a clean sheet, however, in their last seven springtime European matches at home (W2 D3 L2) since a 2-0 win against Manchester City in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 16.
• Dynamo were the first team to book their place in the round of 32, on matchday four, and scored 15 goals in the group stage – a figure bettered only by Group L qualifiers Zenit (17) and Real Sociedad (16).
• AEK have not lost in four UEFA Europa League away fixtures this term, winning one (2-1 at Rijeka on matchday one) and drawing the other three 0-0. Four of their last six European away games have finished goalless.
• AEK are on a nine-match unbeaten run in Europe, their last six fixtures having ended in draws. They have kept five clean sheets during that nine-game sequence.
• The Athens club were the only unbeaten side in the group stage to qualify as runners-up. The other three – Atalanta, Salzburg and Zenit – all topped their sections.
• Runners-up in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, Dynamo lost to Young Boys on away goals in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League before reaching the UEFA Europa League group stage courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate play-off win over Marítimo.
• Dynamo are now competing in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the fifth time and bidding to make the round of 16 – and quarter-finals – for the third time. They were also semi-finalists in the last UEFA Cup, in 2008/09, losing to fellow Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the last four.
• Winners of Greece's end-of-season UEFA Champions League play-offs in 2016/17, AEK lost both legs of their UEFA Champions League qualifier against CSKA Moskva before triumphing by the same 3-0 aggregate against Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• This is the first time in four attempts that AEK have progressed from the UEFA Europa League group stage to the knockout phase. They suffered an autumn exit three seasons running between 2009/10 and 2011/12. Although they reached the UEFA Cup round of 32 in 2006/07 and 2007/08, they progressed no further on either occasion.
• Dynamo have progressed nine times out of ten after drawing the first leg away from home in UEFA competition. They have drawn the first leg 1-1 away four times, but it was on one of those occasions that they suffered that sole reverse, going down 4-1 at home to Juventus in the second leg of their 1997/98 UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
• Only two times out of eight have AEK won a European tie in which they drew the first leg at home. The four most recent such instances have all resulted in elimination. On the two occasions that they have drawn the first leg 1-1, they have won once – on away goals against APOEL in the first round of the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League (2-2 away) – and lost once – in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 32 against Getafe (0-3 away).
UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Dmytro Khlyobas, Artem Shabanov, Carlos Zambrano
Out: Maxym Koval, Artem Kravets, Domagoj Vida
In: Vasilios Barkas, Vasilios Lambropoulos, Masoud Shojaei
Out: Giannis Anestis, Patito Rodríguez, Arnór Ingvi Traustason, Andreas Vlachomitros
Links and trivia
• Aleksandar Pantić (Dynamo) and Uroš Ćosić (AEK) played together for Serbia at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic.
• Dynamo trailed arch-rivals Shakhtar by three points at the Ukrainian Premier League's winter break – but with a game in hand.
• AEK's Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy spent ten years in two spells at Shakhtar, also playing for Dnipro in 2015/16 before moving to Greece.
• Chygrynskiy featured for Shakhtar in both legs of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup semi-final against Dynamo, which the Donetsk side won 3-2 en route to lifting the trophy. He also played 120 minutes of the 2-1 final win against Werder Bremen.
• Chygrynskiy is a former Ukrainian national team-mate of Dynamo pair Yevhen Khacheridi and Oleh Gusev.
• Both Dynamo and AEK set out on their 2017/18 European journey in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
• AEK pair Ognjen Vranješ and Marko Livaja are suspended for this fixture.
• Suspended for next match if booked: Volodymyr Shepeliev, Denys Garmash, Derlis González (Dynamo); Hélder Lopes, André Simões (AEK).
• Dynamo won their only UEFA penalty shoot-out:
3-1 v Sparta Praha, 1998/99 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
• AEK Athens were also victorious in their sole UEFA penalty shoot-out:
7-6 v Queens Park Rangers, 1976/77 UEFA Cup quarter-final
• Hired as Dynamo coach in July 2017, Aleksandr Khatskevich won seven successive league titles with the club as a player from 1996–2004, having also won five straight championships with Dinamo Minsk in his native Belarus. He later worked with Dynamo's youth and reserve teams before taking charge of the Belarus national side from 2014 to 2016. He was capped 38 times by his country, scoring four international goals.
• Manolo Jiménez returned for a second spell as AEK coach in January 2017, having guided the club to 2010/11 Greek Cup glory during his first stint. The ex-Spain international left-back, who won 15 caps between 1988 and 1990, spent virtually his entire playing career with local club Sevilla, where he also started out as a coach.