Zinho Gano also dreams of a cup final with Zulte Waregem: “Nevertheless, the competition remains our first priority”

Zinho Gano celebrates the victory against Mechelen with son Navario on his arm. “It was still raining too much against Anderlecht, but now I could take my baby on my arm and celebrate with the fans.” — © BELGIUM

He once won the cup with Antwerp. At least, that cup victory is on his palmares. However, the corona pandemic threw a spanner in the works and in the end Zinho Gano did not play during the final in question. “Reaching the cup final a second time and being important in it, that would be nice.”

Stefan Smet

The home win against KV Mechelen clearly relieved Essevee and immediately gave a big boost to the group of players, who realize that they will have to fight to the last gasp to secure retention. “The contribution of the new guys was undeniably great”, Zinho Gano acknowledged afterwards the importance of Christian Brüls and Ruud Vormer. “Thanks to their presence, I also come fresher to the zone of truth.”

Gano eventually scored from the spot. “I needed some patience for that”, the attacker laughed his teeth. “Waiting five minutes to kick a penalty is a long time. I already experienced something similar against Kortrijk. Even then I had to wait six to seven minutes. Then the ball went in smoothly, now it was with luck. In the end it is just about getting the ball in and we succeeded.”

“It was especially a very important goal to secure our victory. After the break you noticed that some fear crept into the team again. That’s why I also called out to the guys in midfield and defense to move up. We backed up a little too emphatically again. That’s why we came under pressure, but my penalty goal gave us extra breathing room.”

Gano did praise the way his team presented themselves against Malinwa. “It is certainly also more fun to play football for me. We were also just comfortable in the match and that way I am also more involved in the game. There was more to football and I hope we can continue in this way. It had been a while since we could celebrate a league victory. It was still raining too much against Anderlecht, but now I could take my baby on my arm and celebrate with the fans. Wonderful feeling.”

Cup final missed

“The cup match against STVV will soon follow. We shouldn’t hide it, the competition remains the first priority for us. On the other hand, we will go for it against STVV. If you win, you’re straight into the semi-finals and anything can happen. It is especially important that we now recover well. Fear of fatigue? It’s been a busy month, but I became a footballer to play as many matches as possible, so you won’t hear me complaining.”

For Gano, the cup story also has a personal touch. “Officially I won the cup with Antwerp. Guys like Bolat, Mirallas, Hoedt and Defour also have that cup on their record, but we didn’t play in the final due to corona. That’s sour. It still feels like a loss. Fortunately, I was able to win that beautiful semi-final at Kortrijk, but to reach the cup final a second time and be important in it, that would be nice.

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