Key moment: Ghent is supreme in the first half, but forgets to finish the game completely. De Sart finally does that on the hour, and from the spot he puts the 0-2 on the board. Match played.
Man of the Match: Tarik Tissoudali slalomed past defenders, just like in his best days, and also scored the opening goal. He proved once again – especially before halftime – why they call him “TiTa Wizard”.
Remarkable: For the first time since August 20, Gift Orban was able to score another goal in our competition. Has the train finally left again?
Every top club knows that a move to the Black Country can be a treacherous trip. Ghent appeared warned at kick-off, but was not fully awake in the opening minutes.
A long shot from Zorgane after about five minutes seemed to be an alarm signal. The Buffalos shifted gears and revved the engine from then on.
First, Tarik Tissoudali and Hugo Cuypers saw their attempts stopped by some excellent reflexes from Hervé Koffi, but after 20 minutes the net trembled.
It was Tissoudali who mercilessly punished poor play by the Charleroi defense. 1-0 and a deserved lead for Ghent, which would have plenty of chances to score the second in the remainder of the first half.
But the 2-0 would not fall before half time. A small blemish on an otherwise perfect half of a supremely dominant Ghent.
Mazzu hoped that his troops would be able to strike back immediately after the break, but soon saw that nothing would come of it. Charleroi played very little tonight, the visitors kept complete control.
And they were ultimately rewarded for that on the hour. Cuypers got past Marcq, who wanted to intervene but pushed the Ghent striker against the turf. The penalty that followed was a breeze for Julien De Sart.
After the 0-2 everyone in the Stade du Pays de Charleroi realized that the match was over. The last half hour seemed like a waste of time, until Gift Emmanuel Orban finally struck again just before the final whistle.
The Nigerian did not celebrate, but will still be relieved that he finally found his way to goal. And Marco Ilaimaharitra eventually did just that.
Painful for Roef, who saw his clean sheet go up in smoke, but only a minor footnote in the mature and dominant performance of Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s troops.
Felice Mazzu (Charleroi): “I have mixed feelings. The opponent was better, but we gave away a goal due to a mistake. We resume the match with good intentions and get chances, but are punished on the transition. We have to be more concentrated on those situations. Sometimes we also have to play with more courage, instead of choosing certainty. We invited Ghent to put a lot of pressure. In our situation, every point is important now.”
Hein Vanhaezebrouck (KAA Ghent): “We had full control the entire match. We could have done more on the counter-attack, but I have to be satisfied. We signed for a 1-3 win in advance. Everyone did what they had to do. The boys repeated their performance from against Standard. But there are now two other top players coming with Anderlecht and Union.”