Club Brugge KV 2-0 NK Maribor
First-half goals from Vadis Odjidja and Nabil Dirar secured a comfortable win for the hosts in their opening Group H assignment.
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Club Brugge KV got their UEFA Europa League campaign off to a fine start, with Vadis Odjidja and Nabil Dirar scoring in their 2-0 Group H victory against NK Maribor.
Odjidja put the hosts ahead on seven minutes with a fine near-post finish after skilfully turning his marker. Dirar then made it 2-0 midway through the first half, beating defender Mitja Viler and firing in an unstoppable shot from ten metres.
The home side dominated the opening period from start to finish and had several chances to put the game out of the reach of the Slovenian champions. Joseph Akpala could have had a first-half hat-trick, twice missing golden opportunities at the near post, and firing straight at Maribor goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovič with his right foot, when he might have done better with his left.
It took 38 minutes for the visitors to muster their first attempt at goal, Brazilian striker Marcos looping a shot over from the edge of the penalty area. They started the second half brightly, however, Dejan Mezga firing straight into goalkeeper Colin Coosemans' hands from a free-kick. Aleš Mejač then fizzed a shot over from the edge of the box.
Club Brugge were never under any great threat, though, and Akpala was to add to his growing catalogue of missed chances, heading Odjidja's fine cross straight at the keeper from close range after 77 minutes.
Maribor's Aleksander Rajčević was dismissed for a reckless tackle on Akpala on 85 minutes, but the game was already lost.