With their place in Friday's UEFA Europa League knockout stage draw already assured, Hannover 96 signed off with a welcome home victory over Group B's bottom side FC Vorskla Poltava.
The hosts were six games without a win before tonight but began brightly and were good value for their 2-0 lead inside 33 minutes, with Konstantin Rausch and Didier Konan Ya on target. Roman Bezus gave the visitors hope with a penalty on the cusp of half-time, but after Rausch had squandered a spot kick at the other end Artur Sobiech restored the cushion 12 minutes from time, sealing a much-needed win.
Clear-cut chances were at a premium in the opening quarter but Rausch injected some urgency into proceedings with an opportunistic opener on 25 minutes after Sergio Pinto pounced on Yevhen Selin's stray pass. Pinto was also instrumental in Hannover's second, as his cute flick eluded the Vorskla defence; Konan Ya's goal-bound shot took a wicked deflection off Volodymyr Chesnakov and flew past the helpless Serhiy Dolganskiy.
With half-time approaching and Mirko Slomka's men threatening to run riot, the visitors were thrown an unlikely lifeline when Mario Eggimann brought down Ahmed Januzi; Bezus coolly tucked away from the spot. Rausch was less clinical 11 minutes after the restart as Dolganskiy dived to his right to tip his effort round the post, but a home victory was never really in doubt.
Sobiech, 21, made sure with his first goal for the club, applying a simple tap-in after Konan Ya had sprung the offside trap and squared to the unmarked Polish striker. Vorskla bow out without a win; Group B runners-up Hannover may be pushed harder in the round of 32 in the new year.
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