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A first in AA Gent’s 115-year history?

With just four rounds of play to go, Ghent are now enjoying a one point bonus on Club Brugge. The last time Ghent were in such a good position, was 61 years ago. Things went wrong at that time, but Ghent now enjoy a new opportunity.

The previous leaders Club Brugge lost 1-0 at Standard on Saturday. This gave AA Gent the opportunity, with just two points behind, to grab the lead.

The Buffaloes – as the team is dubbed – had missed a similar occasion 3 times already this season, but managed to squeeze past KV Kortrijk in West Flanders (0-1) to break the spell after all and climb ahead.

It was young Ghent-born winger Benito Raman (photo) who forced Kortrijk’s central defender Maxime Chanot into making an own-goal at the second post, after a dangerous low cross by Ghent ace Daniel Milicevic. In a tactical match with few chances, AA Gent next held on to the bonus until the end.

Defending champions Anderlecht, who lost 2-1 at AA Gent last week, are back in business after winning 0-1 at Sporting Charleroi, a first-half goal by Honduras winger Andy Najar. However, the focus is now on AA Gent.

115 years of club history

They never became Belgian champions in the club’s 115-year-old history – the official club name is KAA Gent with ‘K’ standing for ‘Koninklijk’ or ‘Royal’ after it celebrated it’s centenary at the turn of the century – although they were close at some occasions, like in the 1953-1954 season, when they were also in pole-position with just 4 games to go. AA Gent didn’t make it in the end as Anderlecht took it.

‘We go for third place’

Analysts have always been putting their money on Bruges or Anderlecht in these play-offs, but are now hesitating. ‘Could it happen?’ and ‘never so close to the title’, are the headlines in the leading Flemish sports papers. The Ghent fans can’t be stopped and believe the title is theirs, but the club warns against too much optimism.

The ‘official ambition’ is still third place but AA Gent Manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck has announced the ambitions could be upgraded if AA Gent manage to beat Charleroi next Friday. The match will show whether the players are not starting to suffer from title stress.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica