Halfway through it was 0-2 and Ghent’s victory already seemed to be a fact, but thanks to goals from Gano and Vossen, Essevee still seemed to make it a match. That was without counting Orban. The Nigerian scored no less than four goals after the break and was thus the bogeyman for a defensive and again dramatic acting Zulte Waregem: 2-6! AA Gent bites into the wake of Club Brugge, the battle for the top four remains so exciting.
The turf in the Elindus Arena apparently seemed to be in good condition, but the Ghent players still turned it into a real skating afternoon full of slides and other falls before the break. This is how the first chance of the match arose: Nurio slipped, Gano was able to take the ball but kicked hard wide. Orban was also under the market with the playing field and saw such a promising situation go wrong.
Ciranni – kicking off for the hundredth time in the Jupiler Pro League – could not really enjoy his anniversary for long. The right flank of the home team was injured when a cross was headed wide by Vossen. Ciranni was replaced by Sörmo moments later. Meanwhile, the misunderstandings and wrong choices piled up considerably among the visitors. Vanhaezebrouck went mad. Ghent’s goal chances therefore failed to materialise.
The best opportunity was still there for Essevee, but after Samoise lost the ball, Vossen was unable to capitalize on Miroshi’s cross. After half an hour it was Ghent: Fila completely misjudged a high ball, but Orban was unable to take advantage. Cuypers was also able to stick his nose to the Essevee window, but the top scorer from Ghent completely missed his control and thus also missed a beckoning opportunity.
Moments later it was hit: Piatkowski sent a flawless cross, De Sart buffaloed in (0-1). The Essevee fans who attended the party in Leuven a week ago feared a repeat of the same scenario. Then Zulte Waregem swallowed three goals in the third quarter. And now Leye’s team conceded a second goal before the break. Castro-Montes lashed out surprisingly and left Bossut, who had no reaction left, no chance (0-2).
The particularly efficient Buffalos seemed to be struggling for more than half an hour with the after-effects of the physical battle against the Turkish Basaksehir. However, this Zulte Waregem was unable to utilize this physical advantage. Although they showed quite a bit of enthusiasm, the irritation gradually grew among the home fans, who expressed their displeasure at kick-off with a banner that left little to the imagination: “Frustrations mount due to ignorance at the top”.
The mood after the break did not immediately improve. Derijck had nevertheless quickly made it 1-2 on a corner kick from Rommens, but when Sörmo suddenly handed in the ball, Orban blasted the 1-3 hard past Bossut. Just like a week earlier in Leuven, hopes for a turnaround were immediately dashed.
However, it continued to go back and forth really quickly: Gano decided through Nardi’s fingertips on the crossbar. Moments later, Nardi seemed to miss a high ball in the direction of the same Gano, but Ngadeu came to the aid of his goalkeeper and especially dismayed Essevee’s top scorer could become dangerous again.
Leye also intervened and brought Ndour and Sissako before Rommens and the hapless Sörmo. Ndour immediately made himself noticed: the Senegalese striker neatly reached the back line and made a good cross: Vossen was there like the chickens and brought tension to the match again. No problem for Orban, the Nigerian claimed a free kick and demonstrated once again that he is also a specialist in that discipline. Bossut could only get the ball out of the goal mouth with admiration.
Vanhaezebrouck brought three fresh forces with Depoitre, Fofana and Odjidja and Odjidja immediately released Orban for Bossut with a subtle through ball, but this time the Ghent phenomenon put the ball wide and moments later he tried from over 22 meters, but Bossut also knew his keep nets clean.
Until Fila choked on an intervention. The new substitute Fofana gratefully accepted the gift from the Pole and neatly served Orban who scored his third goal of the afternoon. He almost even scored a ninth time when a ball from Depoitre rolled into his feet via the post and he was caught offside.
Moments later it was hit again: Depoitre pushed through and laid wide, De Sart let the ball roll. Orban threw himself like a vulture at the ball and kicked the 2-6 on the scoreboard. The Orban phenomenon already seems to be of a different dimension than its illustrious predecessor Simon. With nine goals in eight games, he is currently running a downright impressive average.
Zulte Waregem: Bossut; Fila, Willen, Derijck; Ciranni (10′ Sörmo (57′ Ndour)), Rommens (57′ Sissako), Miroshi (84′ De Buyser), Fadera (84′ Palovets); Bruels; Gano, Foxes
AA Gent: Nardi; Piatkowski, Ngadeu, Nurio; Samoise, De Sart (88′ Van Den Bergh), Kums (69′ Odjidja), Castro-Montes (69′ Fofana); Hong (76′ Hauge); Cuypers (69′ Depoitre), Orban
Goals: 37′ De Sart 0-1, 41′ Castro-Montes 0-2, 52′ Derijck 1-2, 53′ Orban 1-3, 65′ Vossen 2-3, 68′ Orban 2-4, 75′ Orban 2-5, 83′ Orban 2-6
Yellow cards: 22′ Fadera, 63′ Castro-Montes
Red cards: –
Referee: Jonathan Lardot