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Stalemate between Anji and Genk

Anji Makhachkala 0-0 KRC Genk
The two sides mustered a solitary shot on target between them in their round of 32 first leg, with the hosts' Ilya Maksimov dismissed late on.

Genk's Kalidou Koulibaly competes with Anji's Fedor Smolov (right)
Genk's Kalidou Koulibaly competes with Anji's Fedor Smolov (right) ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Anji Makhachkala and KRC Genk drew a blank in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.

Bottom of the Russian Premier League and with only two victories all season – both against Tromsø IL in UEFA Europa League Group K – Anji nevertheless created the better chances, only to be left further frustrated by the late dismissal of Ilya Maksimov.

Considering Gadzhi Gadzhiev's team scored only three group stage goals, striker Aleksandr Bukharov's winter arrival was scarcely surprising. He nearly made an immediate impact on his debut, stooping low midway through the opening period to fashion a header from Maksimov's scooped cross which went narrowly wide.

Both sides' lack of incision continued to tell after the break, Olexandr Aliyev getting the first real second-half sight of goal in the 65th minute, only for defender Serigne Mbodji to block. The same player went closer still for Anji in the latter stages, firing into the side netting after Rasim Tagirbekov's deft cutback.

The Belgian visitors eventually found the target for the first time through Fabien Camus late on, before Maksimov was shown a straight red card. The winners of this tie will take on FC Slovan Liberec or AZ Alkmaar in the last 16.

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