Hannover comeback thwarts Club Brugge

Hannover 96 2-1 Club Brugge KV
Jan Schlaudraff's impudent spot kick completed a stirring fightback for the German hosts after Maxime Lestienne had given the visitors the lead.

Hannover comeback thwarts Club Brugge
Hannover comeback thwarts Club Brugge ©UEFA.com

Hannover 96 came from behind to secure a 2-1 first-leg advantage in their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie against Club Brugge KV.

Maxime Lestienne's second-half header provided the visitors with a crucial away goal to take into next Thursday's return. Yet it will be the Bundesliga side who head to Belgium in the driving seat after Artur Sobiech's equaliser and Jan Schlaudraff's impudent late penalty turned the tables in their favour.

Following a tight start showcasing the two German coaches' respective tactical acumen, it was the hosts who carved out the first opportunity with nine minutes gone. A slick combination between Lars Stindl and Steven Cherundolo enabled the latter to pick out Mame Diouf in the box, but the Senegal striker's finish was blocked by Jordi.

Sergio Pinto fizzed a dangerous effort just wide a minute later, but the battle was largely fought in midfield until Christian Pander's mistake allowed Brugge's in-form winger Lior Refaelov to warm Ron-Robert Zieler's hands for the first time on 27 minutes. Jordi headed one of the ensuing corners narrowly past the upright.

Hannover responded strongly and substitute Konstantin Rausch ought to have done better when he scooped over on the stroke of half-time. The German side looked bright again early in the second half with Manuel Schmiedebach forcing a fine save from keeper Vladan Kujović, but Mirko Slomka's men were stunned moments later as Lestienne rose to head Fredrik Stenman's cross beyond Zieler.

Hannover were heading for a first home defeat in the competition, but they remained undeterred and turned things round in the space of seven second-half minutes as substitute Sobiech bundled in the equaliser from close range before Schlaudraff won it with the coolest of chipped penalties, awarded after Ryan Donk felled Sobiech, ten minutes from time.