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Sports

Hannover win in Wroclaw goal-glut

Hannover have claimed a 5-3 away win against Slask Wroclaw in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier. The eight-goal roller coaster puts coach Mirko Slomka's side in a solid position for the return game.

Hannover ended up on the right side of a Polish avalanche of goals on Thursday night in Wroclaw, winning 5-3.

Leon Andreasen set the tone within seven minutes, opening the scoring for the German guests. Jan Schlaudraff doubled Hannover's lead before the half-hour mark, with left-back Christian Pander providing the assist.

Tomasz Jodlowiec pulled one back for the hosts later in the first half, before Lars Stindl scored Hannover's third away goal of the night even before the interval.

Coach Mirko Slomka's players were caught flat-footed on exiting the dressing room for the second half, conceding two quick-fire goals and allowing Wroclaw to draw level at 3-3 by the 61st minute.

Hannover regained superiority after letting their first-half lead slip away, and the northern German side retook the numerical upper hand in the closing stages.

Denmark's Andreasen scored his second of the evening with a long-range free-kick, and substitute Manuel Schmiedebach - known more as a stopper than a scorer - bagged the eighth and final goal of the evening with five minutes left on the clock.

Hannover will entertain Wroclaw in the second leg next Thursday; a two-goal advantage and a haul of five away goals should leave them clear favorites to qualify for the first group stage of the Europa League.

Prior to that game, however, Mirko Slomka's side travel west to Gelsenkirchen on Sunday evening to take on Schalke in their first game in the German Bundesliga season. That match pits two of last year's top teams against each other; and Hannover will have to defend far more sturdily against a dangerous Schalke outfit if they are to score points on the opening weekend.

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