Fifth consecutive league win for Union that never really got into trouble against an underage AA Gent (2-0). Lazare opened the scoring for the home side early on and when Ngadeu was ruled out shortly after the break, the Buffalos came under even more pressure. Vanzeir ultimately decided the match with his sixth of the season. Ghent sees the inhabitants of Brussels run further and already has eight points less than Union.
Karel Geraerts brought in a team that you can safely give the label type team. Adingra was preferred over Lapoussin, while Teuma, Boniface, Nieuwkoop and Kandouss were also allowed to take their place in the starting eleven again. In the end, a sick Hein Vanhaezebrouck was missing from the Dudenpark with the Buffalos. The Ghent coach was replaced by his assistants. There was only one change in the Ghent base: Depoitre replaced top scorer Cuypers.
The fans in the Duden Park were not immediately presented with a spectacular piece in the opening quarter, but the first real attempt by the home team was immediately hit. Losing the ball from Owusu cost Ghent dearly: Lazare outwitted Kums and then painted the ball wonderfully into the square from outside the box. The Buffalos reacted immediately but Nurio could not control the onrushing Depoitre on the left.
Despite that early deficit, the visitors were unable to take control of the game. On the contrary, Union remained dominant and regularly jabbed dangerously thanks to the running actions of Adingra and Teuma. At Ghent, Depoitre was once again on an island and captain Odjidja also failed to get a line in Ghent’s attacking game. In the back, Torunarigha started shooting again, the German continues to run after his best form.
Around half an hour, the positive vibe that seemed to arise at Ghent on Sunday had completely disappeared. The Buffalos piled up the loss of the ball and goalkeeper Moris had a carefree evening. Except for a few pluck balls, the home goalkeeper had to intervene hardly or not at all for a long time. When Odjidja once again brought Depoitre into position, the Ghent striker decided on the 32-year-old Luxembourger.
A first warning for Union that forgot to play football too often in the third quarter. Boniface thought it was enough and set out resolutely on an adventure. The Nigerian was clearly faster than Tonarigha, kept an overview and also served his striker Vanzeir perfectly, but he went wide. Boniface also took his chance but delivered a too weak shot. The final chord was ultimately for Teuma, but his attempt at distance went over the top.
Owusu valt uit, Ngadeu pact rood
The Ghent technical staff undoubtedly had a lot to say during the break, but initially decided to let the same eleven players start the second half. Because Owusu indicated during the brief warm-up that he could not continue, De Sart was immediately thrown into the fray. That change did not immediately improve Ghent. Even after the break, the offensive was barely able to put together a full-fledged attack.
Union looked at it all for a moment and then moved on to the order of the day. An attempt by Adingra went wide, but when Vanzeir made the run, he forced Ngadeu into the error. The Cameroonian pulled him down and was shown red by ref Lardot. In this way, the assignment for the Ghent visitors only got bigger. Union now smelled blood: Vanzeir went deep but his shot was converted into a corner.
A double Ghent substitution then: Cuypers and Hjulsager came to relieve Depoitre and Kums. It didn’t bother Union in the least. The home players continued to attack fiercely and freely and it was actually waiting for a second Brussels goal. At Ghent it was mainly important to limit the damage in the hope that one successful attack would suffice for an unexpected draw.
Goal chances remained scarce after the break and that did not change in the final quarter. Geraerts brought in two more fresh forces with Lapoussin and Nilsson. The focus of the home team slowly but surely turned to the top match of next weekend when Union takes on Club Brugge in front of its own audience. In the end it was Vanzeir who decided the match after a perfect pass from Lazare. The Buffalos are clearly not healed yet, as is their coach.
Union: Moris, Van der Heyden, Burgess, Kandouss, Adingra, Lynen, Teuma (86′ Puertas), Lazare (89′ Rodriguez), Nieuwkoop (86′ François), Boniface (73′ Nilsson), Vanzeir
Gent: Nardi, Torunarigha, Ngadeu, Okumu; Fortuna, Kums (67′ Hjulsager), Owusu (46′ De Sart), Samoise, Odjidja, Hong (83′ Hauge), Depoitre (67′ Cuypers)
Goals: 12’ Lazare (1-0), 82’ Vanzeir (2-0)
Yellow cards: 18′ Ngadeu (foul), 22′ Van der Heyden (foul), 90+1′ De Sart (foul)
Red cards: 56′ Ngadeu (fout)
Referee: Jonathan Lardot