Owen scores at last to give Real 1-0 win
Michael Owen scored his first Real Madrid
goal on Tuesday to earn the nine-times European champions an edgy 1-0
win over Dynamo Kiev and leave Group B finely poised at the halfway
The England striker slid in to convert a Ronaldo cross from close-range
in the 35th minute at a rainswept Bernabeu and open his account for the
Spanish club following a close-season move from Liverpool.
Real went close again through Ronaldo eight minutes into the second half
but there were few other clear chances for the home side, who were
barely clinging on by the end of the game.
Real, beaten 3-0 away to Bayer Leverkusen in their opening game, revived
their campaign with a 4-2 comeback win over Roma last month and a second
successive home win was enough to put them level with Leverkusen and
Kiev on six points.
Mariano Garcia Remon chose the most attacking line-up at his disposal
for another must-win match and for the first few minutes Kiev seemed
overawed at the sight of Owen, Ronaldo, Raul, Zinedine Zidane and Luis
Figo bearing down on them.
Ronaldo almost made them pay for hesitant defending in the fourth minute
when he closed in on goal and smacked in a shot that Olexander
Shovkovsky did well to turn away.
Two minutes later the keeper made a mess of a Raul cross but redeemed
himself by palming clear Figo's first-time shot from the edge of the box.
Zidane struck a post with a low free kick after Figo had been fouled in
the 11th minute and Raul took advantage of more artless defending to
race towards goal and fire wide.
Real were unable to maintain the pace of their attacks for much longer
and Kiev began to go forward with menace themselves.
Kleber had good claims for a penalty when he was bundled over by
Francisco Pavon and Maksim Shatskikh was only fractionally wide with a
sweet shot from just inside the area after a neat move down the right.
Real were starting to look uncomfortable but quick thinking from
substitute Santiago Solari and Owen provided the relief of a goal 10
minutes before the break.
Solari, on for the injured Figo, roared forward from deep in his own
half and found Ronaldo in space. The Brazilian worked his way out left
before crossing low for Owen to nip in ahead of two defenders and score
his first Real goal.
Kiev came within a whisker of an equaliser in first-half added time when
Goran Gavrancic headed powerfully from a corner only for Casillas to
manage somehow to claw the ball away.
There were far more nervous moments for Real in the second half, with
only the occasional hint of a second goal to settle the match, notably
when Ronaldo took Raul's astute pass and hared in on goal only to be
denied by the keeper's feet.
Casillas had to make two more outstanding saves from Kleber after Kiev
had ripped through midfield on the break and with 10 minutes to go
substitute Valentin Belkevich missed his kick completely after a
goalline clearance and set him up for a simple chance.
Kiev swarmed forward over the closing five minutes but Real's defence
held firm to clinch a win they could not have done without.