KRC Genk underlined their UEFA Europa League credentials with an impressive 1-0 victory against FC Dynamo Kyiv.
Mario Been's team, who have gone a calendar year unbeaten away from home in Europe, played their part in an absorbing first half in which both goalkeepers excelled. There was nothing Maxym Koval could do about substitute Julien Gorius's sublime finish shortly after the hour, though, as the visitors made the perfect start in Group G.
Both sides pressured high in the opening exchanges. Effervescent midfielder Lukman Haruna drilled two quickfire efforts narrowly past a post, while at the other end Ilombe Mboyo elicited a fine save from Koval. The 20-year-old belied his tender years again moments later by keeping out Jelle Vossen's curling shot from the edge of the area.
Still, the contest continued to proceed at dizzying pace, visiting shot-stopper László Köteles sticking out an arm to repel Andriy Yarmolenko's venomous strike from 25 metres. Köteles then spilled full-back Benoît Trémoulinas's cut-back but redeemed himself by blocking Jeremain Lens's follow up.
Roman Bezus replaced playmaker Younes Belhanda at the break and his impact was instantaneous as he caressed a shot that whistled past a post. The hosts were becoming increasingly edgy and their frustrations were compounded by Gorius.
The winner owed much to the invention of Vossen, who dummied Katuku Tshimanga's pass for the midfielder to take one touch and sweep into the far corner. Genk then rode out the storm – and were saved by Köteles at the death, as he produced an outstanding reflex save to block Yarmolenko's thumping close-range effort.
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