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African All Stars

Tissoudali’s hat-trick propels Gent past OH Leuven

9:20 PM EDT 4/10/22
Tarik Tissoudali
The Morocco international found the net on three occasions as the Buffalos brushed aside Marc Brys’ men in East Flanders

Tarik Tissoudali was on target thrice as Gent decimated OH Leuven 5-0 in Sunday’s Belgian First Division A fixture.

The Moroccan winger, 29, got the goals in the second half to boost the Buffalos’ chances of a place in Europe next season.

Having failed to win any of their last six matches in all competitions, Marc Brys’ team travelled to Ghelamco Arena - hoping to end their poor form.

Nevertheless, those ambitions faded into thin air as they were hit for five despite showing promises in the first 45 minutes. 

Still fresh from their 2-2 draw against Cercle Brugge last time out, Gent dominated the encounter judging by ball possession but they were unlucky in front of goal.

They got the breakthrough with three minutes left before the half-time break through Julien De Sart who fired past goalkeeper Rafael Romo after he was set up by Sven Kums.

In the 48th minute, Tissoudali doubled the advantage before Andrew Hjulsager made it three with four minutes left on the clock. 

The African star completed his treble with two late goals as the visitors would rue missed chances and poor defending away from home. 

Following his man-of-the-match performance, Tissoudali now boasts 19 goals in the 2021-22 campaign to stay joint-third with Nigeria international and Genk star Paul Onuachu.

He was on parade from start to finish alongside Cameroon international Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, while Ghana’s Elisha Owusu was introduced in the 85th minute for Julien De Sart. 

Whereas, Kenya's Joseph Okumu, Cote d'Ivoire's Christopher Operi, Gambia's Sulayman Marreh, Mali's Ibrahima Cisse as well as Chinonso Emeka (Nigeria) and Adewale Oladoye (Nigeria) were not dressed for action. 

Danish midfielder Hjulsager stated that the fixture is a good dress rehearsal for the club’s Belgian Cup game against Anderlecht. 

"This was certainly a good dress rehearsal for the cup final, a prize that you always put first at the beginning of the season - together with the title. We are so close to it now so we have to go for it 100%,” he told the club website.

“We have the qualities to win anyway, but it will be exciting. Anderlecht also want to play football. Above all, we must ensure that they do not get into their game. Narrowly it will be - in my opinion - certain. Let's hope we can get the cup to Gent.”