Caltex Socceroos keeper Mat Ryan has saved a crucial penalty to help Genk to a big win in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 this morning (AEDT).
In all Belgian affair, Genk took complete control of the first leg with a crushing 5-2 win over Gent at the Ghelamco Arena.
In a free-flowing contest, the visitors raced to a 4-1 advantage at the break with goals to Ruslan Malinovskiy, Omar Colley, Mbwana Samatta and Jere Uronen.
The hosts pulled a goal back through Kalifa Coulibaly on the hour mark and looked to grab a lifeline after Samuel Kalu was awarded a penalty with just over 20 minutes remaining.
But Ryan – on loan from Spanish outfit Valencia – pulled off a smart save to deny Jeremy Perbet from the spot to help preserve the visitors’ 4-2 advantage.
And the save proved vital with Samatta restoring Genk’s three-goal lead less than three minutes to give the visitors a comfortable advantage heading into next week’s return leg.
Genk travel to tackle struggling Westerlo in the league on Monday morning (AEDT).
The Caltex Socceroos tackle UAE in a crucial World Cup Qualifier in Sydney on March 28. Click here for tickets