FC Dnipro pipped Atletico Paranaense 3-0 to become champions in the Nagjee International Club Football Tournament at EMS Corporation stadium, Kozhikode, on Sunday. The goalscorers on the evening were Ihor Kohut (40'), Denys Balanuik (62') and Yuri Vakulko (85').
The Ukrainian side also created a record in the Sait Nagjee tournament that was brought alive after 21 years with Ronaldinho inaugurating the same, as they scored the most number of goals in the championship (10) and also kept a clean sheet in all their three games.
Paranaense were toothless in attack as they were without the services of striker Felippe Soares in the final on account of injury. Dnipro kept the pressure from early on channeling through quick counter attacks which the Brazilians struggled to contain. The scoreline too could have been much worse if Denys Balanuik was to make the best of his chances. In fact, he wasted an opportunity in the 11th minute after a one-two between Vladyslav Kochergin and Yurii Vakulko saw Balanuik shoot over.
In another chance before their first goal, Maksym Lunov received a pass from Vakulko from around the half way mark and made a solo run into the opponent's box but gave in to the pressure of defenders and made a weak attempt on goal which was easily collected by Paranaense goalkeeper Lucas Ferreira in the 34th minute.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 40th minute. It was in the confusion of things, in Vakulko's free-kick from outside the box, Paranaense defender Jose Silva was not able to completely head the ball clear. Ferreira came off his line to flap the ball but collided with Ihor Kohut. To Dnipro's luck, the ball bounced off Kohut's back and into the back of the net.
Dnipro led by a goal at half time.
It was the same story in the second half as Dnipro continued to surge in attack and almost doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Vakloko's direct free kick hit the crossbar. It was only until two minutes past the hour mark though that they did find the target for the second time through Denys Balanuik, who beat the off-side trap to receive a lob from Kochergin and chip past the onrushing goalkeeper. It was Balanuik's first in the tournament.
Paranaense's first notable chance came as late as the 70th minute. However, after Andre Alfredo had done all the hard work on the left flank to put in a good cross in the box, the ball came off the chest of substitute Mauricio Pedro Santos but went over the frame of the goal.
Dnipro burried the result in their favour in the 85th minute as Vakulko's shot from the left corner took a deflection off the toes of Mauricio Santos that was enough to beat Ferreira in his goal for the third time.