Cole snatches Arsenal win
November 05 , 2003
Arsenal 1 Dynamo Kiev 0
England defender Cole scored an unlikely winner 90 seconds from time as Arsenal's ambitions of progressing to the knockout stage were threatening to be extinguished.
It ended a night of almost total frustration for Arsenal, and gave them their first Champions League win in nine matches.
Now Arsenal go into their final two games with renewed hope of finally making a serious impact in Europe's premier club competition.
Arsenal were desperate for the victory that would keep them in the Champions League hunt, but Dynamo's sharp passing kept them on alert in the early exchanges.
Arsene Wenger's side soon settled into their stride and Dynamo keeper Olexander Shokovskiy had a narrow escape in the 21st minute when Gilberto Silva directed a close range header straight at him.
And he was floundering again 12 minutes later when he missed Robert Pires' corner and Goran Gavrancic cleared Freddie Ljungberg's header off the line.
Arsenal counterpart Jens Lehmann was barely troubled apart from a long-range drive from Oleg Husyev which he saved comfortably.
The opening 45 minutes was a tale of frustration for Arsenal, whose struggle to find the target was in sharp contrast to their flowing Premiership form.
And Dennis Bergkamp was guilty of more wasteful finishing two minutes after the break, shooting straight at Shovkovskiy after being sent clear by Thierry Henry's flick.
Both sides had opportunities to score in a flurry of chances just on the hour.
Pires held his head in anguish when he headed wide of an open goal from Henry's cross - and Oleg Husev did the same seconds later when he failed to hit the target from eight yards.
Time was running out for Arsenal, and Wenger made a change after 68 minutes, replacing Ljungberg with Sylvain Wiltord.
And Arsenal made another switch seven minutes later in increasing desperation, Kanu coming on for Ray Parlour.
Bergkamp almost made up for his earlier miss with a thunderous 20-yard drive four minutes from time that was turned over by Shovoskiy.
Arsenal's frustration finally ended when Cole stole in at the far post to meet Henry's header and beat the gallant Shovkovskiy.