Gent failed to take their last chance in Group L of the UEFA Europa League. They fell behind to Crvena zvezdsa (Red Star Belgrade) with just a minute gone, with Petrovic scoring a beauty from distance. The visitors defended resolutely, and Borjan pulled off a great save to deny Bukari. After half-time the Buffalos enjoyed the lion's share of possession and chances, but the game's only other goal came from the visitors: Milunovic netting in the 58th minute. And so Gent's dream of European glory this season is over.
The Buffalos put in a strong performance away at R Charleroi SC. In a first half devoid of chances, the sting came in the tail: Bukari using his pace to put the visitors in the lead in the 45th minute. Both sides' goalkeepers were busier in the second half, but neither Bolat nor Penneteau had to pick the ball out of the net. Gent had to work right up to the final whistle to withstand Charleroi, and so the three points they picked up were richly deserved.
Every day, the Buffalo Talent Center is busy training and guiding the next generation of footballers. The arrival of Hao Wang is a first for us. For the first time in the club's history, a Chinese player joins KAA Gent. Wang arrived in Belgium last season and joined the Buffalo Talent Center where he trains with the U21. He is a 19-year-old versatile midfielder, with a few caps to his name for the Chinese youth teams. He played several times for the U17 and U19. After playing football in China from an early age, Wang arrived in Europe at the age of 15 as part of a school exchange programme in France. He soon joined the U17 of Vannes Olympique Club and distinguished himself at a tournament in Qatar in 2017. He continued his evolution and was welcomed by Olympique Lyonnais in 2019 for a training period of several months at the U19 before joining KAA Gent in early 2020. Determined to make progress, he facilitated his adaptation and progress thanks to his command of French and English. Hao Wang about his period at KAA Gent: "I'm doing well, and I'm very happy, I get on well with everyone here. The training sessions with my teammates help me to make progress every day. Although Covid-19 prevented us from finishing last season, I have been training hard with the team since June to make the best out of this season". We wish Hao the best of luck with the U21!
After an evenly balanced first half it looked as if the two sides would go into the dressing room all square, but Murillo's 44th minute strike gave Anderlecht a flattering lead. With few chances in the second half, it seemed like the visitors were heading for three points, especially after they avoided conceding a penalty when Yaremchuk was unfairly adjudged to have dived. However, justice was done in the 89th minute, when Yaremchuk nodded in Mohammadi's cross. The Buffalos then almost stole a win when Van Crombrugge fumbled a free kick, but he was just able to prevent the ball crossing the line.
On Matchday 3 of the UEFA Europa League group stage, the Buffalos went behind after just 12 minutes to a great strike from Kanga, before equalising shortly after the half-hour mark through a deflected effort from Odjidja. Gent pressed in the second half, but fell behind once more when Katai's free kick went in off the post. Though the visitors created enough chances to draw level, their finishing let them down. So Crvena zvezdsa (Red Star) held on, and the Buffalos were left rueing their failure to get anything from the game.
Away at Waasland-Beveren, a rejigged Gent side took the match firmly in their grasp. After the opening goal from Dorsch, Yaremchuk stole the show with a flawless hat trick within barely 15 minutes, meaning the home side were already resigned to defeat before half time. In the second half, Gent took their foot off the gas, but aside from a consolation goal from Sinani, Waasland-Beveren posed no danger and the result was never in doubt.
Gent's Europa League match against TSG Hoffenheim began evenly and after 14 minutes Yaremchuk had a chance to put them ahead from the spot, but he missed. Then it was the visitors' turn for a penalty after a handball, which Belfodil duly converted. Hoffenheim retained the upper hand after the break, with Grillitsch making it 2-0. Roef showed his worth with several great saves, but he was powerless to stop Gacinovic's strike into the top left corner for Hoffenheim's third. Then Mohammadi struck the post before Kleindienst finally got the Buffalos on the scoresheet in injury time. Yet the German side still had time to make it four, courtesy of Dabbur.
The Buffalos started strongly against Genk and their attacking play was rewarded halfway through the first half when Castro-Montes put them 1-0 up with a great strike. Genk were barely in it, but equalised with their first chance of the match through Bongonda. Gent continued to dominate after half time, but could not find a second goal, and things got even worse for them when Hrosovsky's speculative shot from distance went in. Odjidja came close to making it all square when he struck the bar, but Genk were destined for the win, leaving the Buffalos scratching their heads about how they had failed to pick up even a point.
On matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League group stage, away at Slovan Liberec, the Buffalos failed to capitalise on their strong start to the game. The home side made few chances, but still went into half time a goal to the good, thanks to a great strike from Yusuf. Gent continued to be on top in the second half, enjoying 70% possession and creating chances, but could not find the equaliser, and so returned home from Czechia with nothing to show for their efforts.
Cercle Brugge took an early lead at home to the Buffalos through Kanouté, before debutant Hanche-Olsen headed in the equaliser. After a penalty from Hotic and a goal from Ugbo the home side seemed to be heading for victory, but then Yaremchuk pulled it back to 3-2 from the spot. Yet Cercle were in no mood to drop points, and further goals from Ugbo and a Marcelin header made the final score an emphatic 5-2.
On matchday eight of the Jupiler Pro League, the Buffalos enjoyed an emphatic 5-1 win against Beerschot VA. They were already two goals to the good after 15 minutes, thanks to two cracking strikes from Yaremchuk, before Depoitre made it three in the 29th minute. Gent's dominance continued after the break, with Depoitre getting his brace at the end of a lovely move, before substitute Samoise's volley made it 5-0. Coulibaly's last-minute consolation goal for the visitors could not take the shine off a great win for the Buffalos.
In the second leg away at Dynamo Kyiv, the Buffalos failed to overturn the 2-1 deficit from first leg and so have not made it into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Buyalskiy put the home side in front with a backheel after just 9 minutes. Gent missed several chances to equalise and then, just before half time, De Pena doubled Kyiv's lead from the spot. In the 49th minute, Rodrigues put the game and the tie completely beyond doubt when he converted a softly given penalty. Nevertheless, Gent's heads never dropped and they continued to make chances, but Bushchan pulled off a number of saves to stop them scoring a deserved consolation. So Dynamo Kyiv go further in the Champions League, while Gent continue their European adventure in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
The return of fans to the Ghelamco Arena drove the Buffalos forward in the first half hour of the game, but the post and OH Leuven keeper Romo stopped them taking the lead. Then, with 41 minutes on the clock, Sowah put the visitors in front from their first chance. Three minutes later, from their second chance, Raemaekers made it 2-0. This completely skewed scoreline became even worse for Gent shortly after the break when Sowah finished off a counter attack. Though the Buffalos fought back, they could not get a goal back: Plastun hit the bar, Dorsch struck the post and Niangbo's effort was ruled out. But then the home side won two penalties in quick succession, both of which were converted, by Dorsch and Kleindienst respectively. This made it an exciting final fifteen minutes, and Gent came close to an equaliser when they struck the bar again, this time through Kleindienst, but ultimately they could not avoid defeat.
The Buffalos lost the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Play-Off tie at home to Dynamo Kyiv. The visitors took the lead after just 9 minutes through Supryaha, and then shut up shop. Despite this, Gent were able to find an opening, with Kleindienst's header levelling things up. The home side started the second half brightly, but in the 53rd minute Bezus was dismissed, following a second booking. The ten men held firm for 25 minutes, but then De Pena struck a deflected ball into the net. With their 2-1 win, Dynamo Kyiv go into next week's second leg in the driving seat.
After 3 seasons without picking up any points at Le Cannnonier, the Buffalos got their first win against Mouscron since 19 November 2016. The win was secured by Niklas Dorsch, with his second goal of the week. His goal came in the 14th minute when he reacted quickest to a ball in the box and smashed it past goalkeeper Koffi. The men in blue and white had various opportunities to increase their lead but failed to do so, through a combination of bad luck and the offside flag. Yaremchuk's 22nd-minute penalty was saved by Koffi, and two goals were ruled out for offside: Depoitre's strike just before half time and Yaremchuk's goal in the 89th minute from an assist from Odjidja. Without doubt, the Ukrainian striker had the worst luck on the field. In the 50th minute, after his missed penalty, his shot struck both posts before landing in Koffi's grateful arms. Near the end of the game, Roef made a fantastic reflex save to deny Mouscron, meaning the Buffalos secured victory against the 18th-placed side in the table. This was a welcome three points and confidence booster for Gent, before their home tie against Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday night.