Emmanuel Dennis Club BruggeGetty

Club Brugge’s Dennis ‘overjoyed’ with goal against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg

Emmanuel Dennis is overjoyed with his goal which propelled Club Brugge to a 2-1 win over FC Zenit Saint Petersburg on Tuesday night.

Philippe Clement’s men went to Krestovsky Stadium as underdogs owing to the absence of key players against the Russian Premier League title holders.

The Belgians were without goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Cote d’Ivoire’s Odilon Kossounou and Michael Krmencik, who are in isolation after contracting Covid-19, while Simon Deli was unavailable due to suspension.

Nevertheless, they took the lead in the 63rd minute after the Nigerian followed up on Charles De Ketelaere’s blocked shot to slot the ball past goalkeeper Mikhail Kerzhakov.

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Zenit equalised eleven minutes later as Dejan Lovren’s shot from distance struck the post before rebounding off goalkeeper Ethan Horvath to sail into the net.

With the Group F encounter looking destined for a draw, De Ketelaere sealed the win with a late effort thanks to an assist from captain Ruud Vormer.

Speaking after the game, the 22-year-old who was substituted for Senegalese forward Youssouph Badji in the 82nd minute expressed his delight getting a goal against the Lions.

"I'm overjoyed with my goal," Dennis told the Club Brugge website.

"But much more important is the final 2-1 victory in this opening game of the Champions League.

“As champions of Belgium in the previous editions we were already very close a few times, but now that first is so important, victory is a fact and that feels really good.

“It took us a lot of energy, but when you win you feel it much less."

The former Zorya Luhansk striker who now boasts five goals in Champions League history also reflected on his desire to find the net against Zenit.

"Yes, you all know that I do like a joke, but nevertheless I am super happy that I was able to poke the ball against the ropes after two blocked chances by Charles."

Dennis would be hoping to score again when Club Brugge welcome Lazio to the Jan Breydel Stadium in their next game. Before then, he is expected to lead the Blue Black’s attack in a league outing at OH Leuven.