More Blues Off Day for Shamrock Rovers Amid Defeat in Belgium · The42

Gent 3

Shamrock Rovers 0

Shamrock Rovers suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat in the Europa League group stages away to Gent this evening.

Hugo Kuipers gave the hosts an early lead with a superbly low shot before Vadis Ogedja-Ovoye took advantage of Dan Cleary’s slip, smashing into the net with confidence after the defender surrendered in his area. The same player added a third goal for Gent shortly after the hour mark to end any hope of a return for Rovers.

He’s bringing the Irish side back to Earth after an encouraging opening to their European campaign and continuing a pattern of inept performances in Europe, in contrast to his stellar form that includes four wins and a draw.

Before kick-off, Gent was the favorite due to his impressive land advantage and European pedigree that have seen him reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa League in the past seven seasons.

By contrast, the Hoops are making their European group stage debut in 11 years.

But it is Steven Bradley’s side that currently boasts the superior domestic record, as they lead the Premier League table by one point behind Derry with two games in hand.

Meanwhile, the hosts weren’t going to go into this full of confidence after suffering a rather difficult start as they finished fifth with eight matches in Belgium’s top flight, the obvious low point in their campaign being a 4-0 aggregate loss. Europa League qualifiers against Omonia Neil Lennon.

Both teams entered the level of this match on points, as they each drew 0-0 in their first match against Djurgardens and Molde respectively.

Rovers made three changes from the opening game of the group – Jack Byrne, Dan Cleary and Rory Gaffney came to the team in place of Justin Verizage, Sean Hoare and Aaron Green.

The hosts also made adjustments after the predicament of his generator. Andreas Hanche-Olsen and Matisse Samoys have been replaced by Michael Ngadio Ngadgui and promising 17-year-old striker Malik Fofana, who was making his European debut.

Source: Dave Winter / INPHO

There was plenty of empty seats with the stadium’s gorgeous nine-year-old not filling its 20,000 capacity, even though the Rovers section was packed with traveling fans with good sound.

Alan Manos had to be on alert early. The goalkeeper slipped back to take a Kuipers header from Hong Hyun-seok’s corner as the hosts started to climb.

The same players were key again, with Gent taking the lead in the ninth minute. Hyun-seok’s ball raised inside the penalty area was brilliantly touched by Fofana and Cuypers did no wrong, expertly controlling the ball before producing a clinical low end on the edge of the area.

It went from bad to worse for Rovers shortly thereafter.

Dan Cleary slipped when trying to play from behind, and while he managed to block Kuipers’ initial attempt with his body, the ball then fell gently to Ojija-Ovo, whose superb shot from the edge of the area left Manos goalless. Coincidence.

The Irish side continued to show plenty of effort after trailing by two but struggled to threaten a dangerously well-organized line of defense.

With Gent resting and Rovers struggling to gain any momentum, the intensity of the match waned dramatically as the first half drew to a close.

Jordan Torunariga tested Manos with an effort from a distance that forced the goalkeeper to dodge but other than that there was not much meaningful movement as hoops were left with a mountain to climb before the second half.

Bradley responded by making one change, bringing in Sean Kavanaugh instead of Chris McCann.

However, Gent continued to dominate the proceedings and rarely seemed like a concession. But they had a rough moment. A long ball was passed from Kavanagh back headed by Bruno Godot into Gaffney’s path, whose powerful shot Paul Nardy had to clear away from a corner kick.

However, the hikers were ahead of the game further, and Jack Byrne came painfully close to scoring, missing the top corner kick from Gaffney’s exit on the edge of the penalty area.

The disappointment doubled moments later as Gent made it three.

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Fofana put it in favor of Odjidja-Ofoe, who succeeded where Berne had just failed by finding the top corner with superb effort.

Rovers had a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit in controversial circumstances moments later.

Nardy was apparently trying to take the ball out with a Gent player injured, but Aaron Green continued his run, intercepting the stray pass and blocking it to Gaffney, who was eventually saved by the goalkeeper, with the incident afterwards leading to a minor scuffle between the two players.

Rovers came close again through substitute Verizage, after Gent once again conceded the ball into a dangerous area, but the youngster found no way to get past Nardy from a difficult angle when he passed on goal.

It would have been just consolation by then, as the game was long gone as a contest.

Hobbs’ next game is away to Molde at the beginning of October as the Norwegians are tied on points with Rovers in Group F after losing 3-2 to Djurgardens tonight.

Gent: 1. Paul Nardi 2. Joseph Okumo 23. Jordan Torunariga (Godo 46) 5. Michael Ngdeo Ngadji. 14. Alessio Castro-Montes 24. Sven Kums (Fortuna 78) 7. Hong Hyun-seok (Hjulsager 67) 8. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe (Depoitre 67). Jens Peter Heug 11. Hugo Kuipers 19. Malik Fofana (Ouso 67)

Subs: 33. Davy Rove 40. René Vanden Bure 6. Elisha Uso 12. Noah de Rieder 15. Bram Lage 16. Ibrahim Salah 17. Andrew Holsager 21. Andreas Hansch Olsen 25. Norio Fortuna 28. Robbie Van Hutter 29. Laurent Depot 31 Bruno judo

Shamrock Rovers: 1. Alan Manos 2. Sean Gannon 6. Dan Cleary 5. Lee Grace 8. Ronan Finn (Farrugia 76) 22. Andy Lyons 26. Chris McCann (Kavanna 46) 16. Gary O’Neal 29. Jack Byrne (Verezage 76) 7. Dylan Watts (Green 66) 20. Rory Gaffney (Burk 76)

Subs: 25. Leon Paul 9. Aaron Green 10. Graham Burke 11. Sean Kavanaugh 14. Simon Power 18. Victor Serdeniuk 21. Justin Verizage 23. Neil Farrugia 38. Idomo Imako

Rule: Kastrati Show (KOS).