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Hannover's Diouf disposes of blunt Brugge

Club Brugge KV 0-1 Hannover 96 (agg: 1-3)
Mame Diouf's first-half strike ensured Mirko Slomka's men booked a last-16 tie against another Belgian side – R. Standard de Liège.

Mame Diouf fires in Hannover's winner
Mame Diouf fires in Hannover's winner ©Getty Images

Hannover 96 eased into the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League thanks to a 1-0 victory away to Club Brugge KV.

The hosts were always facing an uphill struggle from the moment Mame Diouf opened the scoring after 21 minutes to extend the aggregate scoreline to 3-1, and despite a sustained effort in the second half the Belgian side could not restore a foothold in the tie.

Hannover displayed enthusiasm rather than caution to protect their 2-1 first-leg advantage in the early stages and, after Mohammed Abdellaoue had fired a warning shot just wide ten minutes in, took the lead with the first flowing move of the contest. Lars Stindl profited from some incisive interplay to surge down the right flank and when his cross found an unmarked Diouf, the forward was afforded time to chest down the centre and drill low past Vladan Kujović from close range.

The Blauw-Zwart refused to panic and Lior Refaelov, who had tested Ron-Robert Zieler with the first significant effort of the match, volleyed over when Carl Hoefkens' long throw was flicked into his path. Thomas Meunier drew a sprawling save from the visiting goalkeeper with a firm header, though Hannover should have been two ahead at that juncture after Abdellaoue was denied by Kujović following an unselfish cutback from Diouf.

Mirko Slomka's men assumed a more counterattacking tactic for the second period and Brugge chances were more sparse as a result. Refaelov came closest to levelling only for Zieler to repel his snap-shot while substitute Björn Vleminckx lacked the necessary power in his header to breach the Hannover No1. Diouf could have confirmed the German side's progress on two occasions but their rearguard ensured a round of 16 tie with R. Standard de Liège was secure.