Munich - Despite some hairy moments Hannover 96 put themselves in a strong position to reach the UEFA Europa League group stages after emerging on the right end of a 5-3 scoreline against Slask Wroclaw on Thursday evening.

In an open encounter Leon Andreasen continued his fine goalscoring form by bagging a brace, while Jan Schlaudraff, Lars Stindl and Manuel Schmiedebach chipped in with efforts of their own as the Reds were forced to stave off a late comeback from the Polish champions.

Reds run rampant

The hosts set themselves up to defend, but soon found their plan unraveling before their eyes as Hannover converted their very first chance of the match. Steven Cherundolo burst dangerously towards the byline before teeing up Andreasen to find the far corner with a powerful finish. Slask responded and though Waldemar Sobota sent a stunning volley inches wide of the post, it was the visitors who extended their lead when Schlaudraff put the finishing touches on Christian Pander's pullback.

Wroclaw threw caution to the wind in search of a goal and, though captain Sebastian Mila had an effort ruled out by the assistant's flag, Slask soon reaped the rewards of their hard work when Tomasz Jodlowiec fired through a crowd of bodies from a poorly defended corner. Hannover were utilising the space afforded to them by the hosts and deservedly restored their two-goal lead just before half-time courtesy of Stindl, who played a neat one-two with Schlaudraff before drilling the ball into the bottom corner.

Slask strike back

Orest Lenczyk made two changes to his side during the break and almost saw it pay off only for substitute Sylwester Patejuk to have his goal incorrectly disallowed for offside. However, the head coach was allowed to revel in his wisdom soon after as his two newly-introduced players combined allowing Patejuk to slide the ball beyond Zieler. Minutes later, with an hour played, the scores were level when Przemyslaw Kazmierczak rose above Felipe to power a header into the top corner completing Slask's comeback.

With the match turned on its head Hannover continued to threaten irrespective of the vulnerability they had demonstrated in defence. Didier Ya Konan and Schlaudraff both went close with Rafal Gikiewicz looking unsure of himself between the sticks, but it was Andreasen who made the most of the keeper's uncertainty by smashing a 35-yard free-kick in off the post. It was left to second-half substitute Manuel Schmiedebach to wrap up the win with a neat finish late on as Slomka's charges edged one-step closer to reaching the UEFA Europa League group stages.


Slask Wroclaw: R. Gikiewicz - Pawelec, Jodlowiec, Kowalczyk, Mraz - Elsner (Patejuk 46'), Kazmierczak - Sobota, Stevanovic, L. Gikiewicz (Voskamp 46') - Mila

Hannover: Zieler - Cherundolo, Haggui, Felipe, Pander - da Silva Pinto, Andreasen - Stindl, Huszti (Schmiedebach 66') - Schlaudraff (Nikci 85') - Ya Konan (Sobiech 75')

Goals: 0-1 Andreasen (7'), 0-2 Schaludraff (25'), 1-2 Jodlowiec (34'), 1-3 Stindl (40'), 2-3 Patejuk (54'), 3-3 Kazmierczak (61'), 3-4 Andreasen (82'), 3-5 Schmiedebach (86')

James Thorogood