Barcelona advances in Champions League
Lionel Messi scored with a free kick in the closing minutes to give Barcelona a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday as the defending champions advanced to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
downlevel descriptionThis video requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download a free version of the player.
Barcelona only needed to avoid a large defeat to advance, but Artem Milevskiy gave the visitors a scare with an early goal for Dynamo.
Xavi Hernandez then equalized in the 33rd minute after sustained pressure from Barcelona. The second half saw few clear chances for either side, before Messi curled in a free kick in the 86th.
The loss means Dynamo finishes last in Group F, and is eliminated from European play.
"It was an important game today and all our players put in maximum effort to get the win," Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola said.
"It was important to win the group and we were playing with that in mind. It was a physically tough game, but it's going to get even tougher from here."
Dynamo needed a victory and showed its intent early on with a lively start, opening the scoring in the second minute.
A free kick from the edge of the area on the left found Milevskiy clear in front of goal, and he slotted past the Barcelona goalkeeper.
That was as good as it got for Dynamo, as Barcelona began to find their rhythm and control possession.