2022-23 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Abakar Sylla (42')

Teenager Sylla earns Club Brugge winning start in Group B

Teenager Abakar Sylla scored the only goal just before half-time as hosts Club Brugge beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old scored in the 42nd minute when his flicked header from a corner to the near post was caught by Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, but he fell back over the line with ball in hand to give the Belgian champions a winning start to their Group B campaign.

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It was Sylla's first goal for the club in his fifth start and topped a strong individual performance.

Leverkusen had the ball in the Brugge net twice in the space of four second-half minutes, but both were called back for offside.

The first was a tight call when Callum Hudson-Odoi's curling 73rd-minute free kick almost evaded all and bounced into the net, with the faintest of touches along the way from tall striker Patrik Schick.

Yet it was disallowed after a touchline review by the Bosnian referee Irfan Peljto. VAR showed Leverkusen's Jonathan Tan was fractionally offside as he jumped alongside Schick, trying to get a touch onto the free kick.

The referee had a much easier decision soon after when Schick put the ball in the net but from a clearly offside position.

Leverkusen created more chances but failed to find their range, although Moussa Diaby forced home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to touch his rasping shot onto the post and away to safety in the first half.

Mignolet was also at full stretch to deny a stinging free kick from substitute Adam Hlozek two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game.

Brugge are at Porto next week while Leverkusen host Atletico Madrid at the same time in their next group games.