Okumu wobbles as KAA Gent crush Valerenga IF in Europa Conference League


Kenya international Joseph Okumu was an unused replacement as KAA Gent started their UEFA Europa League campaign with a resounding 4-0 victory over Valerenga IF on Thursday night.

The Harambee Star completed his transfer to the Belgian squad from Swedish club IF Elfsborg on June 20 and in the team’s first competitive game this campaign he only managed to bench and is not entered the Ghelamco Arena.

In his absence, the Buffalos scored thanks to Gianni Bruno in the 11th minute before Tarik Tissoudali made it 2-0 in the 39th minute for a comfortable halftime lead.

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe then increased the score to 3-0 for Ghent in the 56th minute before substitute Yonas Malede ended the night with the fourth goal in the 88th minute against the Norwegians, who hardly threatened. allowed the home side to take the lead. in the next rounds of matches.

Ghent manager Hein van Haezebrouck was impressed with team newcomer Andrew Hjulsager, who had two assists in the opening 40 minutes of the game.

“It was really nice to start the season this way, also because there was also a convincing victory. Something like that certainly gives confidence to me and to the team, ”Haezebrouck told the official club website after the game.

“We struggled a bit in the first ten minutes. The opponent put in a lot of effort, but after the 1-0 we had full control of the game and I’m impressed with how well Hjulsager settled down.

Although he did not score, Hjulsager said: “The linesman first signaled an offside, but the goal was eventually approved. The linesman did not see that the ball was reaching me via a player from Vgalerenga.

“The opponent was a little annoyed by that. But you just have to keep playing, even if the flag is out of play.

About his combination with striker Bruno, Hjulsager explained: “Gianni is a smart player. We love ourselves. It also worked well in practice matches.

“So hopefully we can go further and build on that. “

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