GENK - Belgium's Racing Genk
held out for a 0-0 draw against a largely dominant Valencia in
their opening Champions League Group E match on Tuesday.
The Spanish side, who have won their first two La Liga
matches, had the bulk of possession and pressure and hit the bar
midway through the second half, although it was far from purely
Valencia's Daniel Parejo in the centre and more right-sided
Roberto Soldado caused Genk's defence some difficulties, notably
when the former forced keeper Laszlo Koteles into a reflex save
from Soldado's cross in the 59th minute.
Valencia's Adil Rami also hit the bar in the 72nd minute
with an overhead-kick.
Genk, whose coach Mario Been arrived at the club just two
weeks ago, defended capably and threatened more in the second
half. Defender Jeroen Simaeys forced a good save from Valencia
keeper Diego Alves six minutes from time.
The result, with a first point, drew a huge cheer from the
capacity home crowd, who spent the minutes after the match
jumping up and down in time with music.
Genk's Simaeys was similarly upbeat.
"They had more possession than us... they have fantastic
players. It was not easy... I am happy with our defensive
performance today and I'm pleased with the 0-0," he said.
Been said he too was pleased with the 11-man effort and the
opening of Genk's account.
"This is something you can be proud of - if you can get a
result like this against a top team such as Valencia... we had
our chances, they theirs. It was an open match. We are happy
with this nice point."
"I've seen a very good Genk side, that dared to play and
that gave little away."
The Belgian champions, now just mid-table in the league,
remain without a win in the Champions League. Genk failed to win
in their only previous Champions League appearances nine seasons
ago and only managed one home goal - albeit in a 1-1 draw with
Real Madrid - finishing bottom of their group.
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