Gent 2-1 Zenit
Belgium's 15-year absence from the UEFA Champions League's last 16 ended after a rousing victory for Hein Vanhaezebrouck's side.
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- Gent finish runners-up to Zenit in Group H, ahead of Valencia and Lyon
- Zenit miss chance to become seventh team to record maximum group points
- Artem Dzyuba scores sixth goal of UEFA Champions League campaign
- Gent become first Belgian club to get into last 16 since Anderlecht in 2000/01
- Round of 16 draw takes place at 12.00CET on Monday
Gent have ended Belgium's 15-year absence from the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after a rousing victory over runaway Group H winners Zenit.
The hosts were given a standing ovation as they went into half-time leading through Laurent Depoitre's fine header – reward for a vibrant performance. Artem Dzyuba levelled but with Lyon beating Valencia, Gent's rivals for second, it mattered not. Danijel Milicevic's clincher started the celebrations in earnest 12 minutes from time.
Hein Vanhaezebrouck had spoken pre-match about his players' confidence, and that was evident in the early stages as Gent took the game to Zenit. Surprise starter Moses Simon was at the fore and it was one of his threatening runs down the left that prompted the opener.
The 20-year-old cleverly delayed his cross, drawing the block then whipping in a ball that Depoitre, opting for precision over power, majestically guided into the far corner. A fine time to end his ten-match goal drought, though the uncertainty returned soon after when Yuri Lodygin prevailed in a one-on-one.
Zenit, in their last outing until February, looked like they were already on holiday – perhaps they wished they were. Danny instigated a revival of sorts but as news filtered through that Valencia were behind, the Gent fans cheered and Nana Asare almost gave them more to celebrate; Lodygin intervened at point-blank range.
Zenit were much improved in the second period and Dzyuba's excellent campaign continued as he stabbed in his sixth of the campaign – only Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski have scored more. Yet this was Gent's night and Milicevic made sure with an emphatic strike after more good work from Simon.
Key player: Moses Simon