Europa League: Genk hold Anzhi Makhachkala to 0-0 draw in Russia
Anzhi Makhachkala were held to a 0-0 draw by Genk in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Russia.
Last Updated: 20/02/14 8:24pm
Anzhi Makhachkala were held to a 0-0 draw by Genk in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Russia - and had IIya Maksimov sent off late on.
The meeting of Russia's 16th-placed side and Belgium's sixth never seemed likely to produce a contest teeming with quality and the clash lived down to those modest expectations with few clear-cut scoring chances.
Anzhi had the better of proceedings without finding a way past Laszlo Koteles in the away goal, but ended the match with 10 men after Maksimov's dismissal in the 89th minute.
Genk managed the first attempt of the night when Julian Gorius tried his luck from 30 yards, but his effort did not worry Mihail Kerzhakov.
Fedor Smolov returned fire for Anzhi moments later, but his shot carried even less venom than the one that preceded it.
Anzhi began to set the tempo as the match continued, Rasim Tagirbekov striking wide from a corner on the quarter-hour and Alexander Bukharov heading just off target having met Oleksandr Aliyev's testing free-kick.
A blank half-time scoreline was almost averted when Jelle Vossen went clear for Genk, but Kerzhakov was on hand to save his side.
The second period followed a familiar pattern, with Bukharov and Aliyev pushing the home side forward only to be denied by a combination of Koteles and some uninspired finishing.
As in the first half, the visitors almost scored against the run of play late on - Fabien Camus' 25-yard drive kept out by Kerzhakov.
Maksimov's professional foul on Kalidou Koulibaly gave Genk three minutes of added time to make their extra man count but it was not enough.