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Unbeaten Club Brugge too strong for AaB

Aalborg BK 1-3 Club Brugge KV
Two goals in five first-half minutes took the sting out of AaB's challenge as Club Brugge closed on another Danish scalp.

Club Brugge celebrate in Aalborg
Club Brugge celebrate in Aalborg ©AFP/Getty Images

Club Brugge unbeaten after 11 games in the UEFA Europe League this season
Visitors' fourth win in five games against Danish teams in this season's competition
 Lior Refaelov takes his tally to five UEFA Europe League goals this term
 AaB's 100% record at home in the competition comes to an end
The second leg is next Thursday in Belgium, with the last 16 draw the following day

Club Brugge KV look set to claim another Danish scalp after first-half goals from Obbi Oularé and Lior Refaelov set them on course for a 3-1 victory at Aalborg BK.

Having knocked out Brøndby IF in qualifying and taken four points from two meetings with FC København during the group stage, the visitors were always favourites for this UEFA Europa League tie – and they justified that billing. Two goals in five minutes midway through the first half set them on their way and a Kenneth Emil Petersen own goal made it 3-0 before Nicklas Helenius kept his side's slim hopes of a last-16 place alive.

Aalborg Stadion has been a fortress in the UEFA Europe League this season, but the barricades were torn down inside the opening half-hour. Ruud Vormer hit the post and Oularé had an effort ruled out for offside before the muscular forward broke the deadlock, meeting a cross from the left with a shot beyond goalkeeper Nicolai Larsen. Refaelov quickly doubled the advantage, arcing into the far corner from 25 metres.

AaB had chances to reduce the deficit, through Nicolaj Thomsen and Helenius, but they then found themselves further behind when Petersen put through his own net. Heleinus gave AaB a lifeline as he converted a penalty, but AaB have it all to do in Belgium seven days from now.

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