This victory is extra gratifying for AA Gent. It had already been since August 13 that the Buffaloes had won away in the competition: 1-3 on the field of relegation candidate Westerlo on match day three. This was followed by draws in Antwerp, OHL, RWDM and two weeks ago a defeat on the field of Cercle Brugge. With the victory on the Charleroi field, the balance away from home looks less negative again: 12 out of 21.
However, winning on the Charleroi field is not self-evident. The Zebras are barely one spot above the Relegation Play-offs, but had not yet lost at home before the arrival of Ghent. They got twelve (!) of their thirteen points at home.
After the stunt against Antwerp, Felice Mazzu and co fully believed that there was something in it against Ghent, but the enthusiasm of the home fans – who again showed off a nice tifo – quickly waned. A long shot from Marco Ilaimaharitra that went half a meter wide, nothing more came from the home team in the entire first half.
At halftime it was 0-1 and it could easily have been 0-3. Just after fifteen minutes, in-form man Tarik Tissoudali scored the opening goal after he was able to take advantage of a terrible back pass from Stefan Knezevic. Be careful: Tissoudali still had some work to do and had to cover more than 30 meters, after which he came inside and caught Koffi with a low slide.
Exactly a month ago, Tissoudali indicated that he was at 75 percent of his ability, but he must now be close to 100 percent. The Moroccan dribbler was a scourge for the Charleroi defense during the first half and was involved in almost all Ghent attacks. That he kicked an imposed chance from a few meters at Koffi three minutes before his opening goal is again vintage Tissoudali. And it often happens to him that he completely faded away during the second half. But they are happy to accept that at Ghent.
The 0-2 was largely thanks to striker brother Hugo Cuypers. Charleroi was finally able to put Davy Roef to work for the first time after 55 minutes through substitute Daan Heymans and the stadium bounced back for a moment, but after Ghent’s quick counter-attack, Damien Marcq stupidly knocked down Cuypers in the box. Not the club’s top scorer himself – he recently missed two – but Julien De Sart scored flawlessly.
Over and out for the Carolos, who were only able to score the honorary savior in injury time via Ilaimaharitra. After last week’s defeat at Eupen and now the first loss at home, it is increasingly looking like Charleroi will have to fight for an entire season to stay above the last four. At least, with this core. You never know what Mehdi Bayat will pull out of his hat during the winter mercato.
Ghent barely got into trouble and in the meantime, substitute Gift Orban had scored a third. Torunarigha and Watanabe cleared everything away, the Kums-De Sart-Hong triangle dominated midfield and wingbacks Samoise and Brown did their job without fail. Hopeful for Hein Vanhaezebrouck. The Buffaloes, still third in the standings, have already widened the gap with number four Genk by five points. And next week they can really do something golden, because then Anderlecht will come to visit. But first: the trip to Breidablik.
Charleroi line-up: Koffi, Knezevic, Marcq, Andreou, Rogelj, Ilaimaharitra, Zorgane, Dragsnes, Guiagon (46′ Heymans), Stulic (67′ Badji) and Dabbagh (74′ Bernier)
Line-up AA Ghent: Roef, Kandouss, Watanabe, Torunarigha, Samoise, De Sart, Kums (80′ Gandelman), Brown (80′ Nurio), Hong (88′ Gerkens), Cuypers (80′ Orban), Tissoudali (90′ Fofana)
Goals: 18′ Tissoudali 0-1, 59′ De Sart (pen) 0-2, 90′ Orban 0-3, 96′ Ilaimaharitra 1-3
Yellow cards: 35′ Ilaimaharitra, 45′ Stulic, 58′ Marcq
Red cards: /
Referee: Jonathan Lardot