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Leverkusen beat Lokomotiv 2-0 to keep qualifying hopes alive

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By Reuters
Leverkusen beat Lokomotiv 2-0 to keep qualifying hopes alive
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group D - Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen - RZD Arena, Moscow, Russia - November 26, 2019 Bayer Leverkusen's Wendell and Kevin Volland celebrate after the match REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov   -   Copyright  MAXIM SHEMETOV(Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Bayer Leverkusen stunned hosts Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to maintain their hopes, at least for a few hours, of reaching the knockouts in Group D.

An own goal from Rifat Zhemaletdinov and a Sven Bender volley gave Leverkusen a precious three points, but their hopes of reaching the last 16 will be extinguished if Atletico Madrid beat Juventus later on Tuesday.

The Germans, who play Juventus on Dec. 11 in their group finale, are third in the standings on six points, with Juve on 10 and Atletico Madrid on seven. The Russians, with just three points from five games, are out of the running.

The Germans survived a strong Russian start and grabbed a lucky lead when a clearance bounced off the leg of Zhemaletdinov for an own goal in the 11th minute.

The Russians had a golden opportunity to level through Anton Miranchuk but Leverkusen keeper Lukas Hradecky palmed his close-range effort wide.

There was nothing lucky, however, about Leverkusen’s second goal with Bender thundering in a volley from the left after a superb Charles Aranguiz chip, to seal victory for the visitors, who were without injured in-form midfielder Kai Havertz.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis)