Lublin - Bundesliga World Tour 2015 participants Hannover 96 booked their place in the final of the Lublin Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over French Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco on Saturday.
The 96ers went close through Valmir Sulejmani and Ceyhun Gülselam, before summer signing Charlison Benschop broke the deadlock in the 81st minute with a clever backheel to set up a showdown with Polish side KS Lechia Gdansk, who earlier beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk on penalties.
The game might have ended differently were it not for a string of world-class saves from Hannover debutant Philipp Tschauner, the former FC St. Pauli custodian doing an excellent job at keeping 2014/15 UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists Monaco at bay. New right-back Oliver Sorg also made his first appearance after joining the club from relegated SC Freiburg last month.
Michael Frontzeck's side, who only secured their Bundesliga status for another year after beating Sorg's former employers Freiburg on the final day of the 2014/15 campaign, will return to Germany on Sunday night.
Hannover first half: Tschauner - Hirsch, Marcelo, Felipe, Teichgräber - Andreasen, Hoffmann - Sulejmani, Ernst, Prib - Sobiech
Hannover second half: Tschauner - Sorg, Anton, Schulz, Bahn - Schmiedebach, Gülselam - Sarenren-Bazee, Karaman, Dierßen - Benschop
Goals: Benschop 1-0 (81’)