MATCH REPORTAA Gent was shivering in Iceland. And that wasn’t due to the freezing cold. Fortunately there was Gift Orban, back in business, with a crucial hat-trick. He responded bluntly after giving a sharp interview last weekend. “I had no problem with that,” said Hein Vanhaezebrouck.
LOOK. Vanhaezebrouck: “We made it more difficult ourselves”
Zero degrees Celsius. A hard turf with sprinkle salt against the slippery spots. And a moderately filled stadium with an athletics track. You understand: the circumstances in Iceland were not ideal for expecting a great performance from AA Gent. But winning against God-better Breidablik was the least of it.
The Buffalos quickly took the lead. A curved ball from Gerkens over the Breidablik defense was headed in by Orban. That went very smoothly. AA Gent would freewheel and take the three points, right?
Forget it. Vanhaezebrouck’s troops gave a masterclass ‘Shooting Your Own Foot’. After a childish misunderstanding between Samoise and Agbor, a deflected shot ended up with Svanthorsson, who simply tapped in the equalizer. Just two minutes later, the same Icelander scored the 2-1 after a mistake by the returning Nardi. An ice cold shower. It doesn’t get more painful.
Vanhaezebrouck intervened at halftime. Exit Kums, enter De Sart. A pre-arranged bill of exchange. With an apparently serious knee injury for Agbor, AA Gent took another blow, but it continued to put pressure on Breidablik. Successfully. After a drawing error on Cuypers, the ball hit the spot. Orban, the best Buffalo, hit the mark.
Gift is a good guy with a golden heart. Every now and then he has to have his say.
Vanhaezebrouck paced in front of his dugout. Decided to also throw Hong and Tissoudali into the fray. That paid off. The Moroccan was unselfish and presented Orban with his hat trick: 2-3. “The best attack of the match,” said Vanhaezebrouck. “Great build-up and great play.”
The Nigerian was happy as a child and jumped into Tissoudali’s arms. Beautiful image. After his goal in Charleroi, now three goals against Breidablik. He responded with his feet, after his complaint about his substitute status last weekend. “I understand that a striker always wants to play,” says Vanhaezebrouck. “Gift is a good guy with a golden heart. Every now and then he has to have his say. I have no problem with that. In his interview last Sunday he also said that he understands that he has to fight for his place.”
Against Charleroi, Tissoudali failed to play Orban twice. “Just wrong choices,” said the Moroccan. Now he awarded Orban his hat-trick. “There is no problem between Tarik and Gift,” Vanhaezebrouck emphasizes. “They have a good relationship, they laugh together. Tarik just has to make sure he makes the right choices, it’s that simple. He did that tonight. It is typical of strikers that they sometimes go for their own success. I just expect them to make better choices.”
Tarik says he has a better connection with Cuypers? Tarik says a lot, doesn’t he? It is better not to pay too much attention to such statements.
In an interview with this newspaper, Tissoudali said that he feels a slightly better connection with Cuypers. Vanhaezebrouck thinks so. “It’s better not to pay too much attention to such statements. Tarik once said that he had a better connection with Depoitre than with Cuypers. Tarik says a lot, doesn’t he? If he scores three times next week with Gift next to him, he will have the best connection with Gift again. I notice that things run smoothly when Tarik plays with Depoitre, Cuypers or Orban. On condition that he himself is at the same level.”
AA Gent had a 2-3 lead thanks to Tissoudali and especially Orban, but it became even more exciting in the end. “We no longer communicated,” Vanhaezebrouck sighed. “I’d rather not talk about those last ten minutes anymore. It was unimaginable. We were still shaking against a team that was on its way out. Not once did we come out on our own.” “That is absolutely not allowed. The only fallacy I can think of is that a few players were already completely frozen in minute 80.”
However, AA Gent held on to its lead, thanks to two parades from Nardi. After a 10 out of 12, the Buffaloes are at the top of their group. European wintering is almost a fact. The focus can now be on the top match against Anderlecht. Fortunately, it won’t freeze in Ghent on Sunday.
Relive the match below:
End of second half
Breidablik’s late free kick yields nothing
In injury time, Orban commits another hooking error shortly before the penalty area. Gunnlaugson sets up for the free kick, but Nardi now clamps the ball well.
Yellow card for Julien De Sart
Nardi alert to Gunnlaugson’s swipe
Breidablik now insists and can still take a dangerous swing through Gunnlaugson. Nardi again makes a good save and prevents the equalizer.
AA Gent keeps Breidablik away from the goal
AA Gent no longer insists on deepening the score, but keeps the rooms well closed. Breidablik then tries from a distance, but the shot flies wide of the post.
Kristinn Steindórsson is replaced by Kristófer Kristinsson
Viktor Karl Einarsson is replaced by Alexander Sigurdarson
Pieter Gerkens is replaced by Jordan Torunarigha
Nardi saves the furniture
Breidablik has not yet given in. Goalkeeper Nardi defuses a header with a cathartic jump. The Ghent goalkeeper quickly recovered after his mistake in the first half.
Tissoudali remains threatening
Breidablik finds it difficult to stop Tissoudali. After a dribble, a hasty attempt now lacks direction.
Andri Yeoman is replaced by Klæmint Olsen
2-3 GOAL by Gift Emmanuel Orban!
Tissoudali’s intervention immediately paid off. He gets into a good shooting position, but is not selfish and passes the ball to Orban who can easily score. The Nigerian has just completed his hat-trick, but he can thank Tissoudali for the nice gift.
Fresh attacking blood for Ghent
Ghent coach Vanhaezebrouck makes a double change: Tissoudali and Hong enter the field as a fresh attacking force. Tissoudali managed to score each time in the previous two European matches.
Hugo Cuypers is replaced by Tarik Tissoudali
Malick Fofana is replaced by Hong Hyun-seok
Yellow card for Archie Brown
Free kick De Sart misses direction
After a foul on Fofana, De Sart is allowed to build for a free kick. But her attempt lacks power and the right direction, AA Gent does manage to get a corner kick out of it.
Yellow card for Gísli Eyjólfsson
Yellow card for Núrio
2-2 GOAL (Penalty) by Gift Emmanuel Orban!
The penalty is a perfect match for Orban: the Nigerian coolly scores the equalizer.
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