Gent beats Valencia 1-0 to stay alive in Champions League
GHENT, Belgium (AP) — Midfielder Sven Kums converted a 49th-minute penalty kick to give Gent a 1-0 win over Valencia on Wednesday, keeping the Belgian club in with a chance of advancing to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Kums scored the winner by firing a firm shot into the left corner. The penalty was called after a hand ball by Valencia defender Antonio Barragan inside the area.
“We played a good match and deserved to win so I am happy I scored the penalty,” Kums said. “I think this group is pretty open.”
The win left Gent with four points from as many matches in Group H, two points behind Valencia. Zenit St. Petersburg, which defeated Lyon 2-0 in France, reached 12 points with its fourth consecutive victory and secured a spot in the round of 16.
Valencia next plays Zenit in Russia and Gent faces Lyon in France.
It was the first ever Champions League win for Gent, which dominated from the start. The Spanish visitors’ first attempt on target came only after they conceded the goal in the second half. Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels was not credited with any saves in the entire game.
Valencia could have secured a spot in the knockout round in advance with a win on Wednesday. Gent would have been eliminated with a loss.