Danilo D'Ambrosio's second-half goal earned Inter Milan a 1-0 triumph over 10-man Dnipro in their Europa League opener on Thursday in Ukraine. The Italian midfielder struck in the 71st minute, shortly after the hosts had lost midfielder Ruslan Rotan to a second yellow card. The Nerazzurri held on for victory in their 350th appearance in Europe at Kiev's NSK Olimpiyskiy stadium. The Serie A side has never fallen to a Ukrainian club. Inter Milan coach Walter Mazzarri fielded in-form striker Mauro Icardi, who had a hat-trick in a 7-0 mauling of Sassuolo at the weekend. The Italians, who will also face Saint-Etienne and Qarabag FK in Group F, showed resolute defending in the opening half. Dnipro tested Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic in the opening minute. Yevhen Konoplyanka drilled a right-footed shot from 30 yards that was kept out by Handanovic. Douglas should have done better for Dnipro when he got his head behind Bruno Gama's cross only for his effort to go off target. Inter should have taken the lead before half-time but Kuzmanovic's header from D'Ambrosio's cross went just over the bar. The visitors' pressure intensified after the re-start and in the 56th minute, Icardi's right-footed strike from the edge of the six-yard box was saved by Dnipro goalkeeper Denis Boyko. Dnipro almost went in front on the hour mark. Rotan set up Konoplyanka in the box but he struck the ball just wide of the far post. The hosts suffered a blow in the 67th minute when the referee handed Rotan his marching orders after the player's late challenge on Fredy Guarin. Inter made the most of their numerical superiority and went in front soon after. Guarin headed the ball into the path of team-mate D'Ambrosio and he hit it from the centre of the area past Boyko for a goal. The hosts surged forward in search of the equaliser but could not get past Inter's defence as their five-match unbeaten run at home in European competition came to an end.
Football EUROPA LEAGUE