Munich - Borussia Mönchengladbach's long-awaited return to the European stage ended in disappointment on Tuesday evening as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Dynamo Kyiv in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off tie.

Gladbach started brightly and took the lead through Finnish midfielder Alexander Ring, only for their evening to suddenly unravel through goals from Kyiv's Taras Mikhalik and Andriy Yarmolenko. Try as they might after the break, Lucien Favre's men could not find a way back and a Luuk de Jong own goal late on compounded a miserable night for the hosts.

Dream start

Despite the visitors already being six games into the Ukranian championship, Gladbach started by far the sharper of the sides at a sold out Borussia-Park. While Kyiv's build-up play was thwarted by misplaced passes and poor first touches, the hosts' swift one-touch passing brought them into dangerous positions on several occasions early on.

An incredible cross-field pass from Juan Arango instigated the breakthrough. The Venezuelan found Ring on the left-hand edge of the penalty area and after cutting inside his marker, the smashed a low shot past keeper Maksym Koval to hand Borussia the lead.

Unexpected turnaround

The Foals looked to have the match firmly in their grasp, with their well-drilled defensive formation restricting Kyiv to pot-shots. However, complacency crept into their game and the guests began to attack more adventurously. They were ruthlessly effective too, first pulling level through Mikhalik's deflected shot from 25 yards before a defensive mix-up allowed Yarmolenko a free run into the box, where he skipped past Alvaro Dominguez to fire Kyiv in front.

After the break the Ukranians appeared content to protect the scoreline and sat deep, leaving Ideye Brown isolated up front. Gladbach patiently tried to create chances to equalise but struggled against the sheer numbers Kyiv brought behind the ball.

Bitter end

Arango tested Koval with numerous shots from afar, but as the final whistle approached Gladbach's frustration became ever clearer and their attacks increasingly desperate. To make matters worse, de Jong turned a vicious Miguel Veloso free kick into his own net towards the end, leaving Gladbach with an uphill struggle to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.


Gladbach: ter Stegen - Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez, Daems - Nordtveit (Cigerci 74'), Xhaka - Ring (Herrmann 69'), Arango - de Camargo (Hanke 69'), de Jong,

Kyiv: Koval - Silva, Betao, Michalik, Taiwo - Ninkovic (Ninkovic 78'), Veloso, Jarmolenko - Kranjcar (Vukojevic 65'), Garmasch - Brown (Mehmedi 90+2')

Goals: 1-0 (Ring 13'), 1-1 (Mikhalik 28'), 1-2 (Yarmolenko 36'), 1-3 (de Jong o.g. 81')

Jon Stockitt