Dynamo Kiev wrap up Ukrainian Premier League title with 1-0 win over Vorskla
Dynamo Kiev retained the Ukrainian Premier league title after beating FC Vorskla 1-0 on Sunday to move seven points clear at the top of the standings with three games left.
Second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk drew 1-1 with FC Chornomorets on Saturday, allowing Dynamo Kiev to extend their lead before the arch-rivals play each other next week.
Dynamo, however, are certain to win the title as they are assured of another three points from a technical win over FC Metalurg who recently went out of existence.
Brazilian striker Junior Moraes scored the only goal of the game, firing into an unguarded net on 36 minutes after Andriy Yarmolenko broke down the right.
"After we clinched the title last season it was difficult to preserve the same level of motivation. Luckily, our players understood this aspect. Without a doubt, retaining the trophy was even a more difficult job," Dynamo Kiev coach Serhiy Rebrov said.
Shakhtar's recent downturn is linked to the team's exile from their hometown Donetsk which was occupied by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.
"All things considered, we had little chances to win the trophy anyway. Unfortunately, players might have believed in that too. They thought more about Sevilla already. Probably, to some extent, they saved their legs and did not want to get injured," Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu told reporters after the draw in Odessa on Saturday.
Shakhtar play the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against holders Sevilla on 28 April in Lviv.