Wolfsburg in charge despite late Gent rally

Date published: Wednesday 17th February 2016 9:46

Wolfsburg: Firm favourites to progress into quarters

Wolfsburg came away from Gent with a 3-2 Champions League round of 16 first leg lead despite a spirited late rally from the Belgian side.

A Julian Draxler brace and another from Max Kruse had the Bundesliga side cruising after an hour, but goals from captain Sven Kums and Kalifa Coulibaly in the final ten minutes gave Gent hope for the return fixture.

It was Gent who had the best early chance as a cross was headed into the path of Thomas Foket but he could not keep his effort down.

Most of the pressure was coming from the visitors, though, and Kruse twice went close while Stefan Mitrovic was relieved not to score an own goal when he diverted a cross just past the post.

It was no surprise, therefore, when Draxler broke the deadlock a minute before half-time, finishing off a one-two with Vieirinha by finding the bottom corner.

Nine minutes after the break he was at it again, this time racing past Mitrovic before beating Matz Sels with a classy chip.

The hour mark brought Wolfsburg’s third as the Germans, who knocked out Manchester United in their final group game, turned the screw.

Christian Trasch fizzed in a cross and Kruse diverted the ball into the net from close range.

Kruse nearly made it four moments later but this time struck the bar, and that proved a crucial moment.

Kums was rewarded for a fine display with a goal in the 80th minute that was all his own work, and that set the scene for a frantic finish.

Gent laid siege to the Wolfsburg goal and substitute Coulibaly headed in at the near post.

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