Draxler double helps Wolfsburg sink Gent
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Julian Draxler scored twice as VfL Wolfsburg took a big step towards reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 3-2 victory over Gent in the first leg of their last-16 tie on
Draxler, who joined from Schalke 04 at the start of the season, struck in the 44th minute after a classy dribble past midfielder Thomas Foket and a quick one-two with Vierinha before tucking the ball past the keeper.
Gent started the second half much improved, pushing for an equaliser, but Draxler netted again in the 54th minute as he capitalised on one of many errant passes by the Gent defence.
Max Kruse then made it 3-0 and also came close to adding a fourth goal before the home team rallied with two strikes in the last 10 minutes from Sven Kums and Kalifa Coulibaly.
The Belgian top-flight champions, making their first appearance at this stage of the competition, appeared nervous at times.
Gent defended sloppily from the start and only began putting pressure on Wolfsburg's inexperienced keeper Koen Casteels towards the end of the match.
The Germans will now fancy their chances of going through when the teams meet in the second leg on March 8.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Tony Jimenez)