Matchday 6 of the Champions League
had little riding on it for Real Madrid and their opponent, Dynamo Kyiv.
With the Whites already through to the Last 16 of the competition, and
the Ukrainians playing for pride in this campaign, Fabio Capello used
the match as a screening test for several members of the Castilla youth
squad. In a relatively lackluster performance by both sides, Ronaldo was
able to score his first two goals in Europe in two years to draw the
match moments before the final whistle.
As expected, there were several new faces in
coach Fabio Capello's starting lineup for Wednesday's Champions Legue
match against Dynamo Kyiv. With Beckham initially sticking to the left
flank, three Real Madrid youth team players made their 2006 European
debut. Torres joined Mejía in the centre of the defence, De la Red
occupied the centre of the midfield with Diarra with Nieto along the
right, and Cassano and Ronaldo led the attack. With a spot in next round
already a lock, it was the perfect match for the Italian manager to
experiment, regardless of the final score.
With nothing more resting on the match for the Whites, and a Dynamo
squad playing for pride and to warm up their fans on a frigid Ukraine
night, the final Champions League game of 2006 got underway with the
Madridistas the more decisive side. They had to get used to the field
conditions as quickly as possible, and Real Madrid looked to touch the
ball as frequently as they could. Rubén de la Red had the first effort
on goal with a long strike just six minutes in, but the youngster didn't
manage to get direction on the shot.
Dynamo strike first
Dynamo Kyiv continued pressuring and created several dangerous threats
in the last third of the pitch. Real Madrid's defence and midfield were
porous at best, and the home side took advantage. First, a quick
counterattack in minute 11, and then the first goal of the match two
minutes later. Madrid lowered their intensity, and there was no one
covering themself in glory. A cross from the left flank found
Shatskikh's boot and sailed by Diego López.
Youngsters play well
Down one, the players -decked out in away black- reacted. Capello
changed tactics and Nieto and Beckham swapped wings. The Englishman also
played a more central role in attack, and one of his balls found Cassano,
who had beaten the offside trap and looked to lift it over the keeper,
but Shovkovskiy made an exceptional save. Moments earlier, a pacey,
skillful Nieto had made a confident run along the right wing. The youth
teamer loves to take on the opponent and was very active on both flanks.
The same goes for Torres in the centre of the defence. The men from Real
Madrid Castilla were rising to the opportunity.
But the game wasn't shaping up and even took a turn for the worst when
Shatskikh struck home his second of the night. Dynamo caught Diego López
in no man's land, but the Madridista keeper got back in time to make a
good save. Unfortunately for Casillas' backup, the ricochet ended up in
the back of the net. Salgado and Ronaldo tried to cut into the lead to
no avail. There was no one in the middle or up front, and there were no
options nor any outlets.
Madrid come back
After 15 minutes to clear their heads and reorganise, Ronaldo looked
just as determined to lead the turnaround as he did against Athletic
Bilbao. The Brazilian had given glimmers of his recovery with a couple
of individuals plays in the first half, and in the second he set Beckham
up perfectly with a back-heel. It was a great effort by the Englishman
which struck the post. Both teams pressed on with lots of ambition.
Diego López was forced to make a save on what could have been Kyiv's
third of the night, and then a well constructed play by Real Madrid
ended with a good shot by Roberto Carlos, but Nieto was unable to find
the rebound. Two Ronaldo goals in two minutes drew the match in the
waning moments of the game. The Brazilian now has three scores in two
matches, which bodes well for a Real Madrid side who travel to Sevilla
in League play on Saturday.