Thomas Foket completed his first training with the Belgian Red Devils. At the press conference, Foket repeated how surprised he was by his selection, while he noted the similarities between the system adapted by coach Martinez and KAA Gent coach Vanhaezebrouck might be a reason for his selection.
KAA Gent defender Thomas Foket has been selected for the Belgian national team for the very first time. He's part of national coach Roberto Martínez's selection for the games against the Netherlands in the 126th derby of the Low Countries and Estonia in the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup. Roberto Martinez: "Thomas Foket has great potential. He has been impressive on European level with his club" KAA Gent noticed the 16-year-old Foket at his then team Dilbeek Sport in 2012, which played in Belgium’s 4th division (comparable to the UK’s League Two). While combining his football career with law studies at Ghent University, Foket grew to be an important player in KAA Gent’s defense and will now, only 6 years later, get the chance to show off his talent in what might be considered Belgium’s strongest national team ever.
On Matchday 1 of the Europe Play-Offs, there were few chances in the first half until Storm scored for Mechelen following a lucky deflection. A few minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead when Druijf rounded off a quick counterattack. After the break, the Buffalos came out fighting and had brought it back to 2-2 by the 49th minute, thanks to goals from Yaremchuk and Odjidja. Gent came close to finding a winner on a few occasions but it was not to be, so the game ended all square KAA GENT TEAM YR KV MECHELEN 18 SHOTS (incl. blocked shots) 14 6 SHOTS ON TARGET 6 54,3% DUELS WON 45,7% 82,1% PASS ACCURACY 81,9% 51,7% BALL POSSESSION 48,3%
Gent had to win away at SV Zulte Waregem to get into the Play-Offs, and they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. Castro-Montes opened the scoring and Yaremchuk doubled their lead on the half hour. Just after half time, Castro-Montes smashed in his second of the night, before Ngadeu scored with a great header to make it four and Odjidja made it 5-0 from the spot. Substitute De Bruyn also got onto the scoresheet, and Yaremchuk finished off the rout. Late strikes from Bruno and Pletinckx gave the home side a semblance of dignity, but the outcome was never in doubt: the Buffalos had three points and a place in the European Play-Offs in the bag. SV ZULTE WAREGEM TEAM KAA GENT 6 SHOTS 14 4 SHOTS ON TARGET 7 67,1% SHOT ACCURACY 50,0% 0,51 EXPECTED GOALS 3,09 1 BIG CHANCES 5 46,2% POSSESSION 53,8% 430 PASSES 513 84,2% PASS ACCURACY 84,4%