Matchday 16 took Blauw-Zwart to the Ghelamco Arena where the hosts opened the scoring via Cuypers after ten minutes play. Just before the half-hour Ngadeu doubled the score.
Last Tuesday Club finished the Champions League group stage with a draw at Leverkusen. Coach Carl Hoefkens was content with that performance and didn’t see a reason to tinker too much with his line-up. Just the one change: he sacrificed Lang for Onyedika in order to have more control in midfield. For the home side Torunarigha was among the starters after his injury spell.
The match started rather slow with Club having most of the ball but not creating a single threat. Instead, it was Gent that broke deadlock after ten minutes with their first chance. Cuypers latched onto a through ball and chipped it over Mignolet from a sharp corner. After the opening goal, both sides struggled to dominate the match. Odjidja tried his luck from distance, but it flew high and wide over Mignolet’s goal. The football was far from academic, but as play contrinued Club had more and more control over it.
Nothing much happened on the pitch. Vanaken scuffed a left-footed strike wide from just outside the penalty area and out of nowhere Gent doubled their lead on the half-hour mark when Kums picked out Ngadeu who headed in at the far post. Cuypers wanted a second goal, but he skied his finish.
Club wanted to get back into the game before the interval. Sowah created space for himself inside the area, but Nardi palmed the left-footed strike away. A few minutes later the goalkeeper needed a good reflex save to keep out Jutglà’s deflected shot. On the other side of the pitch Mignolet thwarted Cuypers who had gone through on goal.
Hoefkens intervened at half-time, making a double change. Boyata and Sobol stayed inside, Odoi and Skov Olsen came on. However, that didn’t change too much at first. The game was still defined by the abundance of duels and the lack of clear-cut chances for both sides. The second half was ten minutes under way when a backpass inside the penalty area just evaded Jutglà.
The hosts responded however. Hjulsager’s drive took a deflection before it went into corner and a few minutes later from Kums created another heading opportunity. This time Cuypers rose highest to meet with the free-kick, but he headed over the crossbar. On the other side of the pitch Yaremchuk, who had come on for Jutglà, headed Skov Olsen’s cross into the hands of Nardi.
Not long after Yaremchuk’s header, Lang tried to break things open. With a clever dribble he found the backline and then crossed it towards Nielsen, but the Dane volleyed it a meter wide. A few minutes later the same two were the protagonists of another chance: Lang sent Nielsen deep and the latter feeded his countryman Skov Olsen whose shot was too tame to trouble the Gent goalie. We’re past the 80-minute mark when Nielsen was played the ball just outside the penalty area and he hastely tried his luck, but his effort sailed far wide.
Nadien viel de wedstrijd stil en viel er amper nog gevaar te noteren van beide ploegen. In de toegevoegde tijd kwam Cuypers wel nog alleen voor Mignolet, maar de Brugse goalie wilde geen derde tegengoal incasseren. Er werd niet meer gescoord en zo ging Club met 2-0 onderuit in de Ghelamco Arena. Woensdag wacht de bekerwedstrijd tegen Patro Eisden…
The final chance of the match was for the home side, deep into stoppage time. Cuypers appeared in front of Mignolet, but the goalie wouldn’t let another goal pass.