GENK, Belgium (Reuters) – Salzburg thumped Belgian side Genk 4-1 away on Wednesday to keep their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout stage alive and set up a final-game decider against holders Liverpool.
Two goals in as many minutes just before halftime laid the platform as third-placed Salzburg moved on to seven points in Group E, three behind leaders Liverpool and needing to beat Juergen Klopp’s team in Austria on Dec. 10 to advance.
Salzburg, who lost 4-3 to Liverpool earlier in the group stage, would need only a low-scoring single-goal victory to finish ahead of Liverpool.
Patson Daka reacted quickest to a rebound to open the scoring in the 43rd minute and a low Takumi Minamino shot from the right made it 2-0 before halftime.
Hwang Hee-chan then added a third in the 69th minute as he tucked away a cross from teenage striker Erling Haaland, who got Salzburg’s fourth in the 87th minute to take his tally to eight goals in this season’s Champions League.
Mbwana Samatta netted a consolation for Genk with five minutes remaining, but with just a single point from five group games, the Belgians will finish last and be eliminated from European club competition.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)