The first goal of AA Gent’s first season has been achieved. Buffalo book a deserved qualification for the Conference League groups against Poland’s Rako Czestochowa. Thanks to Odjidja, Depoitre and yes, even the recording of Tissoudali.
A wave of lighting swept into the Glamco Arena. The council breathed a sigh of relief, and the fans who followed the call of their coach sat on the benches. And Tarek Tsodli, who felt his heart fill with a warm glow. In that extra minute of the first half, the sky opened for a moment. Finally paid for the work of the buffalo. Finally also Tissoudali who finished off a given chance. Featured Football Player, Amsterdam. He pulls balls out of the air as if picking cherries, pulling balls under his sole that irreversibly tangles opponents and is always in motion. Annoying to play against but sometimes not easy for teammates. Because he doesn’t always see the best solution. And because he still needs a lot of chances to score.
Also against Raku Czestochowa. once again. The first half at first looked like a copy of the first leg. Again, the Polish horses started furiously, Okumu again played with fire in the crowd, and again the danger came from the standard situation. Bulat’s blocking of Rondek’s attempt – in the first minute (!) – was immediately vital. The Gent goalkeeper had fewer problems with a shot from Cipola.
The Polish storm dissipated faster than it did a week ago. AA Gent forced corner after corner, but the biggest danger came from quick rebounding pokes after Raku lost the ball. And yes, there is always a Tissoudali. Wonderful how he cut his opponent, it is almost incomprehensible how he again shot at goalkeeper Kovacevic. Again, it appears to be a copy of the first stop. A minute later, there was Tsodali again, with a cracking bullet that passed away.
Pretty strong too, just like last week: Laurent Depoitre. As long as he’s fit – a question mark for the past couple of years – AA Gent will have enough of him as a target guy. That’s not a redundant luxury because Limagic – whose physicals were disappointing, not medical – still needs training. The beast plunged into corners and fought a fierce battle with Captain Raku Newyoles and scored a goal in a jiffy. The return leg differed from the first leg in this: under the guidance of Vadis Odjidja, AA Gent pushed the Polish vice-champion back and created chances more smoothly.
Goalkeeper Kovacevic was forced to save from Depuitre on three occasions. After the second, a good header for the far post, Depuetry frowned. After the third, on an excellent deep ball from Ngdeo, he shook his head. Not again, as at that first stop? No no. Because moments later the ball reached the far post on which Sven Combs plays. Depot accepted, scored well and Tsudale scored 1-0. He does a ball test that doesn’t require much thought. AA already reaped the roses.
Odjidja does it
Hjulsager stayed inside in the first half, ahead of De Sart. As a result, Odjidja went up one row and it turned out to be a golden move. Because AA Gent dominated after the break against the Poles, there was no danger on goal. The match was stagnant. Until Kums once again gave a cross pass to Depoitre. It beat Odjidja who almost tersely, out of nowhere, spiraled 2-0 into the net with the left. The captain of AA Gent, celebrated and fearless in Poland, took charge. When the next De Sartre scored 3-0 moments later, the ticket entered the entire group stage. Okumo and alternate Chakvetadze leave out broader personalities.
This is how AA Gent wraps up their long catch-up race in brilliance. When Vanhaezebrouck was appointed in December last year, the playoff ticket seemed a long way off, let alone a ticket to Europe. The fact that AA Gent finished fifth was already a success, but he still had to survive three rounds to reach the group stage of the Conference League. Due to opposition – also from Rakow Czestochowa – AA Gent was obliged to do so, but in the past year things have gone so wrong that it was always necessary to speak two words. Now it’s time for the second goal: to score the i points and cross the t in the competition. With Sunday already clapper against Club Brugge.
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