KRC Genk grab their first Champions League point !
After a heavily disputed game against Spanish topside Valencia, KRC Genk clinched their first Champions League point.
Nine years after they took part for the first time, Genk were back in the Champions League. Against Valencia they faced a formidable opponent. "Nevertheless," coach Mario Been said before the game, "it's still only a game with eleven players on either side. Judging by the team's budgets one could say we don't stand a chance. But we do have a team of excellent players." Been lined up the same team that won last week's Limburg derby away in STVV.
With names such as Rami, Topal, Soldado and Piatti (to name just those) Valencia coach Emery lined up a starteam. After all, they were proud leaders of the Spanish Primera Division alongside Real Madrid for a good reason.
Spanish dominance but no goals.
Genk were eager to start the game with enthusiasm. But soon they had to throttle back. Valencia dominated the game, although chances for Patti and Rami yielded nothing. In between Pudil tried his luck with a shot from far out but the ball went way over. Ten minutes into the game a shot by Piatti posed no problem for Köteles. On the half hour Banega was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Pudil outside the pitch.
After 36 minutes Valencia threatened for the first time. Miguel put in a cross from the right, Piatti cunningly deflected the ball on the near post but Köteles swiped the ball out of the bottom left corner. Shortly before the interval Genk came peeking for the first time. Pudil produced a volley from a cross by Dugary but the ball again went way over. Seconds later Simaeys' header from a free kick by Tözsèr landed in the hands of goalkeeper Alves. Valencia had 65 % of possession but could do little with it. And maybe the bluewhites had to much respect for their opponents. The halftime whistle came with a 0 - 0 halfway score.
More of the same in the seond half.
Genk returned to the pitch with offensive intentions. After only a few seconds Alves had to parry a shot from Vossen. The game went back to the same pattern. Spanish dominance while Genk defended well. Although the home team were very lucky when a bycicle kick by Rami shattered on the cross barr. Gradually Genk came back into the game and coach Been sensed an opportunity. He threw Ogunjimi, Barda and Camus into the battle but they were unable to turn the tide. Defender Simaeys was very close to opening the score but Alves was up to it with an excellent reflex save.
The game slowly went into a stalemate. Through Hernandez and Banega Valencia had a couple of minor chances and Barda was unlucky when an offside was unjustly blown against him, but none of the teams were able to score. And so the game ended on a 0 - 0 final score allowing Genk to grab their first Champions League point.
KRC Genk line up : Köteles, Anele, Nadson, Simaeys, Pudil, Hubert, Tözsèr, Buffel (84' Camus), Dugary, Kennedy (64' Ogunjimi) and Vossen (79' Barda).
Valencia CF line up : Alves, Rami, Topal, Feghouli(69' Hernandez) , Soldado, Banega, Piatti (79' Canales), Ruìz, Parejo (74' Aduriz), Mathieu and Miguel.
Scoresheet : no goals
Yellow cards : 28' : Banega (Val), 60' Buffel
Red cards : none
Referee : Thomas Einwaller (AUT)
Attendance : 20.248