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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Aberdeen 0-0 Dnipro
By Colin Moffat

Aberdeen's Jamie Smith in action against Dnipro
Aberdeen created the better chances at Pittodrie
Aberdeen were held to a frustrating goalless draw in their Uefa Cup first round, first-leg tie at Pittodrie.

Returning to European football for the first time in five years, the Dons created the better chances.

However, Dnipro goalkeeper Vyacheslav Kernozenko made a wonderful early save to keep out an Andrew Considine shot.

After the break, Chris Clark saw his strike pushed on to the post by Kernozenko and the same player let fly with an effort that flew just wide.

Having made a poor start to the season, Aberdeen rang the changes and turned in their best performance of the campaign so far.

Goalkeeper Jamie Langfield, out of favour since a summer fall-out with manager Jimmy Calderwood, returned at the expense of Derek Soutar.

Considine returned from illness to play in central defence and midfielder Jamie Smith pushed on to support striker Lee Miller, with Steve Lovell dropping to the bench.

Smith provided an early threat when he headed down Scott Severin's free-kick and Considine's close-range strike was brilliantly beaten away by Kernozenko.

The visitors looked comfortable on the ball but the Dons were more direct and went close again after 21 minutes.

Smith curled in a dangerous left-wing corner beyond the far post but Zander Diamond could not direct his header back on target after arriving late.

Considine saved the Dons with a great penalty-box challenge on Sergei Samodin after Kostyantyn Kravchenko had lifted a superb ball over the top.

And the visitors came close when Sergiy Nazarenko curled a shot over from 20 yards.

Aberdeen continued to look lively and Severin sent Barry Nicholson scampering into the penalty area with a delightful pass but the midfielder was forced a fraction too wide and his shot was easily saved.

Nazarenko was proving elusive in an open game and the Ukrainian playmaker again shot just too high from the edge of the penalty box.

In the opening seconds of the second half, Langfield was almost caught out by a long range effort from Kravchenko but the keeper managed to push the ball over his crossbar.

Kernozenko then made another first-class save to deny Clark.

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The Dons man cut in from the left and beat two opponents before curling in a shot that was pushed on to the post by the impressive custodian.

Smith squeezed a shot on the turn on target but Kernozenko got down smartly to keep it out.

Aberdeen were enjoying a good period of sustained pressure and a Derek Young strike was deflected wide by a desperate block as Dnipro were stretched at the back.

With 20 minutes remaining, Clark pounced on some sloppy defending to race in on goal but shot wide via a slight touch from a defender.

Nazarenko had been quiet in the second half but picked out Jaba Kankava with a neat pass and the substitute's shot cannoned through the legs of Diamond before Langfield dived low to save well.

The Dons ran out of steam in the closing stages and Langfield saved from Sergey Kornilenko in injury-time after a slip from Diamond.


Aberdeen: Langfield, Hart, Diamond, Considine, McNamara (Foster 72), Young (Lovell 70), Nicholson, Severin, Clark (Mair 90), Miller, Jamie Smith.
Subs Not Used: Soutar, Touzani, Maguire, De Visscher.

Booked: Hart.

Dnipro: Kernozenko, Andrienko, Shershun, Rusol, Denisov, Nazarenko, Shelaev, Grytsay, Kravchenko (Lyopa 60), Samodin (Kankava 66), Vorobey (Kornilenko 90).
Subs Not Used: Startsev, Bartulovic, Eshenko, Matiukhin.

Booked: Nazarenko, Kravchenko.

Att: 15,431

Ref: Espen Berntsen (Norway).



SEE ALSO
Calderwood upbeat on Uefa chances
20 Sep 07 |  Aberdeen
Uefa Cup photos
20 Sep 07 |  Europe
Uefa Cup as it happened
20 Sep 07 |  Europe


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