Nightmare for Buffaloes 5 days ahead of Tottenham clash Author: Michaël Torfs

Sun 12/02/2017 - 12:04 Michaël Torfs In football, AA Gent had a nightmare against modest KAS Eupen from Eastern Belgium. Dubbed the Pandas, Eupen played well-organised and went on to score the only goal of the match in the 7th minute of extra time, a blow for AA Gent's Play-off 1 ambitions but 3 golden points for Eupen in the fight against relegation. AA Gent are hosting Tottenham in the Europa League this Thursday. Will they be ready?

AA Gent badly needed the 3 points to stay in the top-6. The 2015 champions have built a bad reputation in away matches this season, and thus need all the points at home to keep going.

However, Eupen did what most teams at the Ghelamco Arena do: some strong defending and a lot of pressure on the ball to prevent AA Gent from building attacks in ball possession. AA Gent found no answer, played a poor match and, on top of that, made some bad mistakes in defence, when Eupen set up swift counter-attacks.

AA Gent first escaped thanks to a strong goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, and kept their hopes for a win alive at 0-0. The Buffaloes finally upped the pressure in the final quarter, but Hendrik Van Crombrugge had some top-notch saves for Eupen. Ghent remained hopeful when 7 minutes of added time were shown on the board, but ironically it was Eupen who scored in the 97th minute, ironically also after a blunder by Ghent goalkeeper Kalinic.

AA Gent ready for Tottenham?

With just 4 rounds of play to go, AA Gent (40 points) are being overtaken by both KRC Genk (41) and KV Mechelen (41), who bagged the 3 points at KV Mechelen after an Uros Vitas double. AA Gent are presently in 8th position and need to leapfrog both Genk and KV Mechelen to reclaim their place in the top-6.

"It's gonna be very difficult", Ghent coach Hein Vanhezebrouck told reporters. AA Gent are hosting Tottenham Hotspur this Thursday in the Europa League; some say the players already had this game in their minds yesterday.

In other action yesterday, bot Ostend and Charleroi confirmed their play-off 1 ambitions. KV Oostende remain 4th after beating Excelsior Mouscron 1-2 in stoppage time, while Charleroi managed to turn the tables against modest Westerlo: 2-1. Mouscron remain bottom, 4 points behind Westerlo.