Underestimation? Hein Vanhaezebrouck didn’t want to know about it. Not only did he call KAA Gent “a candidate dropout”, he also opted for a strong starting team.
In the first half, the Ghent coach seemed to have worried needlessly. With shots from Peeters and Hadj Moussa, Patro Eisden Maasmechelen was dangerous, but the visitors were in control. They did not act hastily and took their lead after half an hour, thanks to Tissoudali.
The fact that Gift Orban did not quite finish the job before half time was immediately painful for Ghent after the break. Hadj Moussa was able to extend a clever cross from Peeters into the goal and fuel Patro’s hopes.
It became a flashpoint when the home team received an indirect free kick not much later after a back pass from De Sart. The 2-1 just stuck in the wall of Ghent, which no longer needed a third warning.
With some effort, Ghent regained control of the match. At the start of the final quarter, strong holders Hong and Kums were able to pull the first division over the line with a good long shot.
At Patro Eisden, Hong’s 1-2 tasted especially sour, after Tissoudali’s hand play in the preparation. Coach Stijn Stijnen, who received a red card at the end, felt like a failure, but AA Gent is in the eighth finals for the 22nd season in a row.