Aug 21, 2014 at 7.30pm UK at ​Daknamstadion
Lokeren
1-0
Hull City
Vanaken (58')
Leye (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

McShane (86')

Result: Hull City suffer Europa League defeat in Belgium

Hull's Europa League campaign hangs in the balance following a first-leg playoff defeat to Lokeren.

Hull City's hopes of reaching the Europa League group stages suffered a blow after Steve Bruce's side lost 1-0 to Lokeren in their first-leg playoff in Belgium tonight.

Hull's player David Meyler and Lokeren's player Alexander Scholz vie for the ball during the Europa League play-off football match between Sporting Lokeren and Hull City AFC, on August 22, 2014© Getty Images

A solitary goal from Hans Vanakan on 59 minutes left Hull's European campaign hanging in the balance ahead of next Thursday's return leg at the KC Stadium.

It was the visitors who started the better of both sides, and Bruce's charges should have moved ahead after seven minutes when Yannick Sagbo scuffed wide of the mark from inside the box.

The hosts slowly grew into the encounter but it took the best part of half an hour for them to threaten Allan McGregor's goal.

James Chester's hashed clearance from a free kick fell to Nill De Pauw at the edge of the area, but the Belgian's angled effort sailed narrowly over the bar.

Lokeren maintained that momentum after the break and it was De Pauw again who threatened, forcing McGregor to palm away his 25-yard thump.

The Scottish goalkeeper went from hero to villain on the hour mark, though, as McGregor passed straight to Vanakan, who then rounded him before tapping into an empty net.

City finished the encounter strongly, as David Meyler forced Davino Verhulst into a smart save on 85 minutes, before Chester headed a Sone Aluko cross wide of the post from close range.

It would prove as close as the Premier League side would come to bagging a timely away goal and Lokeren held out to draw first blood in the tie.

Hull's player David Meyler and Lokeren's player Alexander Scholz vie for the ball during the Europa League play-off football match between Sporting Lokeren and Hull City AFC, on August 22, 2014
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Half-Time Report: Hull City, Lokeren goalless in Belgium
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