Tuesday 1 November 2022 20:45

Club clinches second place in Group B after draw at Leverkusen!

On the final Match Day on what has been a legendary Champions League campaign for Club Brugge so far, the Belgian champions made the trip to Bayer Leverkusen. Sowah and Buchanan came close to adding another victory to the already impressive list, but Club also had to call upon an unsurpassable Mignolet to once again deny the opponent with an ultimate reflex. No goals were scored by either side, however, bringing Club to second place in its group!

A spectacular score line lead to a broad win for Club against KV Ostend over the weekend, but coach Hoefkens had to reshuffle his Starting XI for the trip to Leverkusen, with Odoi, Sylla and Onyedika all out suspended, making way for Sobol, Meijer and Lang, the forming teaming up with Sowah and Jutglà up front. The most important change in the home side's team at kick-off was the return of target striker Schick.

Lang vormde samen met Sowah en Jutglà het aanvalstrio.
Lang vormde samen met Sowah en Jutglà het aanvalstrio.

The hosts proved the more eventful time at the start, and just five minutes into the game, Hudson-Odoi lifted the ball inside the box, reaching Frimpong as he beat Sobol to the ball. The latter was able to push through however, and Frimpong was unable to reach the ball. Club reacted with a deflected shot by Sowah and a rebound ball for Nielsen high over. It was clear, however, that both teams were keen on sitting this one out, with lots of midfield play as a result, but only little real danger.

Sowah creëerde de beste kans voor Club, maar Hradecky stopte zijn poging.
Sowah creëerde de beste kans voor Club, maar Hradecky stopte zijn poging.

Mignolet had a relaxed evening in store, and it was Club that started claiming possession. A long free kick by Lang reached Meijer by the far post, but he could not direct his header well enough. Half an hour into the game, the first real threat was for the hosts, as Hudson-Odoi put the ball deep to Diaby, whose attempt for a crossed shot was pawed away by Mignolet into corner kick. Club did not bide its time, and also forced its first attempt, as Sowah put high pressure, and managed to intercept the ball and headed for Hradecky. The Club forward's low shot was saved, however. Just before half time, another ball ended up with Frimpong, who hit the side netting from close range, keeping the score at 0-0 as the teams headed for the dressing rooms.

Unlike in the first hafl, Blue and Black now started out with fervour. Sobol with the low cross in front of goal, finding Buchanan by the far post, whose one-time shot hit the crossbar. The rebound came to Sobol, who aimed his effort just wide of target. A bout of bad luck for Club, and Leverkusen could have made matters even worse a bit later, as Hudson-Odoi first tried his luck with a low shot in the corner, duly saved by Mignolet, and that same Mignolet once again produced a monstruous save as he denied Schick's header upon a corner kick to go in.

The second half started out fine, but the game grinded to a halt soon after, and coach Hoefkens decided to spice things up a bit with a first substitution, bringing on Skov Olsen for Lang. Not that this caused a big stir to the game, however; Club kept finding it hard to make its way through the sturdy .everkusen defense, while the hosts also couldn't find fault in Club's organisation. With ten minutes on the clock, the audience at the Bay Arena woke as a corner kick ended up with Andrick, who seemed to be making the most of a Mignolet error, but the ref whistled, having seen a foul as Mignolet was struck while clutching the ball. 

Mignolet pakte opnieuw uit met een ultieme redding en hield zo de nul.
Mignolet pakte opnieuw uit met een ultieme redding en hield zo de nul.

With the end in clear sight, Club went for a late-time mwin, bringing on Larin and Yaremchuk, but to no avail as it was bound to be a goalless draw. With Porto beating Atlético in that other Group B fixture, Club ends Group B as runners-up! 

UEFA Champions League – Match Day 6
Audience: 30,210 – BayArena
Ref: Mr. Maurizio Mariani
Bayer 04 Leverkusen: Lukas Hradecky – Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba – Jeremie Frimpong, Exequiel Palacios (46’ Kerem Demirbay), Robert Andrich, Mitchel Bakker – Moussa Diaby (76’ Amine Adli), Patrik Schick (89’ Adam Hlozek), Callum Hudson-Odoi (76’ Nadiem Amiri).
Bank: Andrey Lunev, Niklas Lomb, Paulinho, Kerem Demirbay, Nadiem Amiri, Amine Adli, Adam Hlozek, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Ayman Azhil.
Coach: Xabi Alonso.
Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet –  Dedryck Boyata, Brandon Mechele, Bjorn Meijer – Tajon Buchanan, Casper Nielsen, Hans Vanaken, Kamal Sowah, Eduard Sobol (79’ Cyle Larin) – Ferran Jutglà (87’ Roman Yaremchuk), Noa Lang (67’ Andreas Skov Olsen).
Bench: Senne Lammens, Andreas Skov Olsen, Cyle Larin, Antonio Nusa, Kyriani Sabbe, Jorne Spileers, Roman Yaremchuk, Lynnt Audoor, Cisse Sandra.
Coach: Carl Hoefkens.

Yellow: Sobol, Palacios, Andrich, Boyata, Nielsen
Red: none
Goals: none

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