Fulham lose but seal Europa League spot

Dnipro 1 Fulham 0 (Fulham win 3-1 on aggregate)

Fulham confirmed their place in the group stage of the Europa League but were given a run for their money by their Croatian opponents.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg of the qualifying play-off, Dnipro dominated the return match and scored the only goal of the night when Evgeny Shakov headed in from Serhiy Kravchenko’s 22nd-minute corner.

The goal came less than a minute after John Arne Riise limped off to be replaced by youngster Matthew Briggs.

Martin Jol’s men then had to withstand periods of heavy pressure, but stood firm to maintain their hopes of another exciting run in the competition they reached the final of two seasons ago.

Without striker Bobby Zamora, who has been nursing an ankle injury, they posed very little attacking threat but would have been spared a nervy finish had substitute Pajtim Kasami not fired woefully over after being set up by Damien Duff.

Whites keeper Mark Schwarzer made a number of fine saves, the best of which denied Yevhen Konoplyanka late on, while Shakov should have scored a second but blazed over.

And Nikola Kalinic, the home side’s recent signing from Blackburn, failed to score with a free header.