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Vanhaezebrouck: Overachieving Gent deserve to advance

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 25 Nov 2015

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Hein Vanhaezebrouck revelled in Gent’s surprise win in Lyon as the Champions League debutants moved a step closer to the knockout round on Tuesday.

Gent defeated Lyon 2-1 thanks to Kalifa Coulibaly’s dramatic 95th-minute header at Stade de Gerland.

The Belgian outfit are now a point clear in second position in Group H after Valencia lost to unbeaten leaders Zenit on matchday five, while Lyon bowed out.

Speaking afterwards, Gent coach Vanhaezebrouck said: “We got more than we deserved, which does not happen for us too often.

“My players are not used to celebrating like they did at the end, but I am happy for them that we took the three points.

“They deserve to qualify for the Europa League and maybe for the Champions League [last 16]. It will not be easy as Zenit have 15 points from five games. We did not have any fans here but I hope for the Zenit game we will have a full house behind us.”

Gent made a less than ideal start on the road as Jordan Ferri opened the scoring in the seventh minute via a close-range finish.

But Lyon’s final European match at Stade de Gerland went downhill from that point.

Danijel Milicevic levelled proceedings in the 32nd minute before Coulibaly netted the last-gasp winner five minutes into stoppage time.

Vanhaezebrouck added: “Tonight we did not start well but we did not rush things either. We were not there physically and we had to adapt to a new level.

“The goal we conceded could have been avoided. Lyon are a good team with a lot of individual talents. Our collective spirit is great, however, we always come back and that’s what happened tonight.

“My players went to celebrate in front of the empty tier that was ours – it was a message to all the fans who have supported us during the last few days. This win is one of the best of my career.”

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