Champions League - Leverkusen secure progress

Tue, 06 Dec 21:49:00 2011

Bayer Leverkusen secured their qualification to the knock-out stages of the Champions League with an unconvincing 1-1 draw away at Genk.

Fabien Camus (L) of KRC Genk fights for the ball with Sidney Sam of Bayer Leverkusen during their Champions League Group E soccer match at the Cristal Arena in Genk - 0

With Chelsea winning their match 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, Leverkusen qualify as runners-up after Eren Derdiyok's second half strike cancelled out Jelle Vossen's first half opener for Genk.

The visitors enjoyed the majority of early possession in the first half, Michael Ballack, Simon Rolfes and Lars Bender enjoying freedom in the middle of the park to release the three-pronged attack of Sidney Sam, Andre Schuerrle and Derdiyok.

As predicted after their 7-0 hammering at Valencia, Genk keeper Laszlo Köteles was in the action early on, beating away a fierce shot from Schuerrle.

Sam threatened to carve out further chances down the left wing before Genk took a shock lead against the run of play just before the half hour mark.

Good work from the excellent Anthony Vanden Borre down the right set up Dugary Ndabashinze whose pinpoint cross was hammered into the bottom corner of the Leverkusen net by Vossen.

Seconds later, Genk could have been 2-0 up as Camus just failed to guide in Anthony Limbombe's dangerous cross at the far post.

If the Fabien Camus chance was tough, Genk definitely should have added to their lead when Jeroen Simaeys headed into the ground from four yards out, giving Berndt Leno a much easier tip over the bar rather than picking it out of the back of the net.

Leverkusen threatened through a Sam shot before the break, but the half-time whistle came at a good time for the Germans.

Leverkusen started the second half in much the same vein as the first, enjoying possession with Genk happy to play deep and hit them on the break.

They should have levelled matters 10 minutes after the break, Derdiyok putting his sidefoot over the bar when an empty net beckoned from Schuerrle's saved effort.

Fortunately, Derdiyok did not have to dwell on his miss long before he made amends, smashing home from Sam's excellent cut-back to level matters.

Although a late rally almost produced a Genk winner thanks to efforts from substitutes Elyaniv Barda and Thomas Buffel, Leno ensured a draw was just about the fair result on the night.

Fraser Masefield / Eurosport

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