FC Anji Makhachkala gave new KRC Genk coach Emilio Ferrera a debut to forget as the Russian visitors triumphed 2-0 in Belgium to advance to the UEFA Europa League round of 16.
The first period ended as the first leg had done, goalless, but Anji eased away in the final half-hour of this round of 32 contest. Katuku Tshimanga's own goal was decisive as he contrived to skew in a cross from Olexandr Aliyev, who then completed a fine individual performance with the second seven minutes later. Rasim Tagirbekov was sent off in the closing stages but, with Genk needing three goals, the damage had been done.
Ferrera had succeeded Mario Been on Monday and surprisingly omitted the experienced Thomas Buffel from his XI. His team started well, taking the initiative, but in Aliyev, Anji provided the bigger goal threat. The 29-year-old Ukrainian international had an early effort blocked and warmed Kristof Van Hout's gloves with a shot midway through the first half.
He was proving hard to handle, and so nearly broke the deadlock before the interval – but having done the hard work in penetrating the penalty area, Anji's No88 missed the target with only the keeper to beat. Fedor Smolov did work Van Hout, forcing a point-blank stop and then blasting into the side netting from a rebound soon after.
The opportunities, never plentiful, dried up completely after the restart until the 64th minute when Aliyev drove in from the left and delivered a ball that posed no immediate threat. Tshimanga, however, gave his own keeper no chance. Genk's hopes all but vanished when Serigne Mbodji was dispossessed by Serder Serderov; he fed Smolov, who sent Aliyev clear to make it 2-0.
Tagorbekov's dismissal was one sour note – sent off after tussling with substitute Buffel – and he will be suspended when Anji kick off their round of 16 tie against AZ Alkmaar on 13 March.
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