A second-half strike from substitute Stefan Kiessling handed Bayer 04 Leverkusen the narrowest of victories away against Group K rivals Rosenborg BK.
After a goalless first half at Lerkendal Stadion, Leverkusen were rewarded for their more attacking outlook after the break, yet there was a strong hint of good fortune to their decisive effort. Sidney Sam’s powerful attempt cannoned off the chest of Kiessling and past the stranded Daniel Örlund for the only goal of the game.
Rosenborg made a positive start in front of their home crowd, with full-backs Cristian Gamboa and Stefan Strandberg joining the attack at every opportunity. The hosts threatened twice within the first five minutes, striker Rade Prica forcing a fine save from Bernd Leno and Gamboa drilling a powerful effort just wide of the post. At the other end, forward Junior Fernándes was Leverkusen's best outlet, stinging the palms of Örlund with a shot from range before seeing another effort cannon away off the woodwork.
The visitors improved as the half went on but had Leno to thank for keeping the score level, the goalkeeper twice saving from the lively Prica. The best chance of the half, however, fell to Leverkusen defender Manuel Friedrich, who nodded wide from a corner when it appeared easier to score.
The German side started the second period with greater verve and almost took the lead through André Schürrle, whose poked effort was stopped well by the sprawling Örlund. Further chances fell to substitute Sidney Sam and Lars Bender before Kiessling finally made the breakthrough, bundling home in fortuitous fashion after a Sam shot.
With Rosenborg on the back foot, Gonzalo Castro and Sam almost doubled Leverkusen's lead in the closing minutes, but only Kiessling's goal would separate the sides at the final whistle.
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