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Gent beat Valencia to stay in race for knockout stages

Gent beat Valencia to stay in race for knockout stages

By Robert-Jan Bartunek

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian champions Gent stayed in the race for the second spot of Champions League Group H by beating an innocuous Valencia 1-0 at home.

With Lyon losing at a flawless Zenit, Gent, who entered the Champions League for the first time this season, are now in third spot with four points. Valencia are second with six points.

Itching to forget their outing in Valencia, where they lost by scoring two own goals, Gent put pressure on the visitors from the start, with Laurent Depoitre having a first effort on goal in only the second minute.

Gent, currently leading the Belgian league, created many chances by thundering past Valencia’s flanks but it was a performance that was not reflected on the scoreboard after 45 minutes.

The much deserved goal came in the 49th minute when Sven Kums converted a penalty awarded after Antonio Barragan touched the ball.

Valencia, currently seventh in La Liga, played an uninspiring match, with Daniel Parejo’s free kick in the 56th minute a rare attempt on goal.

While Gent’s performance appeared slightly more nervous at the end of the second half, the hosts maintained their lead until the final whistle.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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