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Club beats Aarhus 3-0

UEFA Conference League

Club Brugge have passed their first official assignment of the season with flying colors. Blauw-Zwart won 3-0 against Denmark's Aarhus, forcing an excellent starting position in the second preliminary round of the Conference League. Buchanan, Rits and debutant Vetlesen scored the goals.

Ronny Deila made one change compared to the team that lost Saturday's Brugse Metten against AZ: Antonio Nusa was given the nod and he forced Michał Skóraś on the bench. As a result, Igor Thiago was the only new signing in the starting line-up. Blauw-Zwart immediately grabbed the Danes by the throat and had a shot after just one minute of play. After a cross from Buchanan, Vanaken suddenly appeared alone in front of Hansen, but the goalkeeper saved. Onyedika then popped the rebound straight at the Danish keeper. Moments later, Buchanan again flashed passed his opponent, but this time his cross was just cleared.

Club and especially Tajon Buchanan started the game strongly and after ten minutes the Canadian netted the first official goal of this season. After a good attacking move by Skov Olsen, the ball rolled into the path of Buchanan and he slammed it high into the back of the net from close range. the feet of Buchanan, who delightfully popped the 1-0 into the roof of the goal. The visitors were forced into their own half and Club dominated play, especially via the right-hand side as Skov Olsen also reguarly went past his defender. Halfway the first half the Danish international cut inside but his left-footed strike was saved by Hansen.

Despite the deficit, the visitors continued to play well-organised, but created nothing apart from a blocked effort from the left-back. Club were able to create two more chances in the first halfn: after a cross from Skov Olsen, Thiago could just barely reach it but not towards goal and moments later Hansen saved a shot by Nusa.

After the break, Club immediately stepped up and that soon paid quickly. After a few minutes, Thiago played the ball back to Mats Rits, who rifled the second goal into the top corner. Immediately afterwards, a beautiful attack followed over many stations: after a cross from Buchanan, Thiago banged the ball against the crossbar and Vanaken's rebound was cleared on the line. Barely a minute later, an effort by Skov Olsen went wide after it had taken a deflection..

Visiting coach Rösler then made a triple substitution, but it did not change the game. Club clearly remained in control and went in search of more goals. Nusa cut inside, but his shot towards the far corner was saved by Hansen. The Danish keeper also saved a header by Vanaken. A few minutes later the captain released De Cuyper, but the youngster couldn't get his shot away.

Fifteen minutes before the end, Hugo Vetlesen and Michal Skóras made their official debuts for Blauw-Zwart. For the Norwegian, it was a debut in style, as he was able to score just two minutes after coming on. A cross from Odoi rolled in front of Vetlesen, who delightfully curled the ball into the far corner. In the closing stages, the game literally and figuratively diluted. Just before the start of injury time, Thiago had another headed chance, but goalkeeper Hansen was equal to it. In the rebound, Skov Olsen's attempt went over the crossbar. It remained 3-0, so Blauw-Zwart can travel to Denmark next week with a good starting position for the second leg.

UEFA Europa Conference League – Second preliminary (first leg)
18.925 – Jan Breydelstadion
Goga Kikacheishvili (Geo)
Club Brugge:
Simon Mignolet - Tajon Buchanan (74’ Denis Odoi), Brandon Mechele, Jorne Spileers, Maxim De Cuyper (74’ Bjorn Meijer) - Mats Rits (74’ Hugo Vetlesen), Raphael Onyedika, Hans Vanaken - Andreas Skov Olsen (90’ Casper Nielsen), Igor Thiago, Antonio Nusa (74’ Michal Skóras). Bench: Nick Shinton, Joel Ordóñez, Kyriani Sabbe, Romeo Vermant en Shion Homma. Coach: Ronny Deila.
AGF Aarhus:
Jesper Hansen - Tobias Mølgaard, Frederik Tingager, Thomas Kristensen - Felix Beijmo (72’ Michael Akoto), Nicolai Poulsen, Mads Emil Madsen (55’ Mikael Andersson), Gift Links (55’ Eric Kahl) - Tobias Bech (55’ Mikkel Duelund), Patrick Mortensen, Magnus Knudsen (79’ Frederik Bandhof). Coach: Uwe Rösler.
Yellow cards:
Mechele, Mølgaard, Kristensen.
Red cards:
10’ Buchanan (1-0), 48’ Rits (2-0), 76’ Vetlesen (3-0).