Napoli held 0-0 by Dynamo Kiev to leave Group B wide open

NAPLES, Italy (AP) " Having wasted a chance to advance in record time a month ago, Napoli's Champions League fortunes are now going down to the final round of group matches.

The Serie A runner-up was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday for a result that helped neither side.

Dynamo was eliminated while Napoli was left tied with Benfica on eight points atop Group B. Besiktas is next with seven points after rallying from an early three-goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Benfica in the other group match earlier.

Dynamo has two points and will finish last.

Benfica hosts Napoli, while Besiktas visits Kiev, in the final round of group matches in two weeks.

"It's too bad, because it would have been much simpler with a victory," Napoli captain Marek Hamsik said. "But we're still in the lead and we need to get a result in Lisbon. ...We're surely going to have to play better than we did tonight."

Napoli won its opening two matches in convincing fashion and would have become the first team in Champions League history to advance from the group stage after just three matches had it beaten Besiktas at home on Oct.

19. But Napoli allowed a late winner from Besiktas to lose that game 3-2, then was held 1-1 at Benfica in its next game.

Against Kiev, Napoli controlled much of the match and produced several late chances but couldn't quite find the target.

Midway through the first half, Lorenzo Insigne rushed into the area with the ball at his feet and Kiev's defense chasing from behind but the winger slipped and fell before he could get a shot off.

A header from Hamsik went just wide in the 50th. A few minutes later, Kiev defender Yevhen Makarenko did well to intercept a dangerous cross with Napoli forward Jose Callejon well positioned to score.

Napoli substitute Manolo Gabbiadini also missed a couple of late chances.

Napoli has sorely missed Arkadiusz Milik, the forward who scored two first-half headers when the Partenopei came from behind to beat Kiev 2-1 in Ukraine in the group opener.

Milik tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing for Poland in October and isn't expected back for several more months.

Attack-oriented Napoli had scored at least one goal in its last 18 Champions League matches and was last held scoreless by Arsenal in 2013.

The buildup to the match was marred when a Kiev fan was stabbed the night before the game. There were also brief clashes between supporters and police outside the stadium before kickoff, with reports that a taxi was set on fire when a firecracker was set off inside the car.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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