AEK Larnaca sunk in Belgium
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 3RD QUALIF. ROUND (LEG 2)
AEK Larnaca see their UEFA Europa League hopes come to an end with a painful 3:0 loss in Belgium at the hands of AA Gent.
Last week in Larnaca, the two teams played to a 1:1 draw and AEK knew they would need to score at least one goal to advance. Unfortunately, they were comprehensively outplayed, but remained in the hunt until the end.
Despite dominating the match, it took until the 64th minute for Gent to pull ahead through Laurent Depoitre. AEK continued to fight, but a pair of stoppage time goals by Jonathan David sealed the deal for the Belgian side.
Gent hosted AEK Larnaca at the KAA Gent Stadium in Ghent. The hosts came out hard and Tono Ramirez was ready for all of it. Mikael Lustig let fly and was denied by the Spanish keeper’s right arm. Then, Roman Yaremchuk found himself alone with Ramirez, but Ramirez came out on top. Yaremchuk came knocking again, and again Ramirez made the save. Chances were abundant for Gent in the first half, but none ended up in the back of the net thanks to Tono Ramirez, and there was no score at the half-time break. However, a scoreless draw would have been just fine for the Belgians.
In the second half, AEK continued to struggle to get their bearings, and finally it caught up with them. The Gent Captain and former Olympiacos player, Vadis Odjidja, served in a corner that found Laurent Depoitre, who with a touch finally solved Ramirez, and Gent had the lead in both the match and the aggregate in the 64th minute.
AEK continued to lag behind their hosts, but they knew just one goal could force extra-time. However, they just could not make the Gent keeper Thomas Kaminski have to do much of anything.
In stoppage time, however, they did earn a corner, a golden opportunity to level the tie. Ramirez came up to add an extra body in the box, but it backfired. Louis Verstraete picked off the corner, played a ball up the pitch, Jonathan David won the race, and deposited the ball into the net. David added another, and Gent won big, 3:0 at home to AEK Larnaca, ending their UEFA Europa League qualification campaign.
Gent(Jess Thorup): 1. Thomas Kaminski(GK), 5. Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, 6. Elisha Owusu, 7. Roman Yaremchuk(‘88 33. Louis Verstraete), 8. Vadis Odjidja(Captain), 16. Jonathan David, 19. Brecht Dejaegere, 21. Nana Asare, 23. Mikael Lustig, 29. Laurent Depoitre(‘81 14. Alessio Castro-Montes), 32. Igor Plastun
AEK Larnaca(Imanol Idiakez): 25. Tono Ramirez(GK), 4. Truyols(‘73 27. Raul), 5. Daniel Mojsov, 8. Acoran, 10. Ivan Trickovski(Captain), 11. Tete(‘73 23. Florian Taulemesse), 13. Hector Hevel, 18. Mikel Gonzalez, 22. Lluis Sastre, 41. Nacho Cases(‘84 12. Jean-Luc Assoubre), 99. Apostolos Giannou