The UEFA Europa Conference League continues as the qualification rounds for one of European club football's top competitions.
The qualifying rounds have featured several talented players from across Europe and beyond with African players not falling behind either. Two players in particular who had impressive games for their clubs are Gift Emmanuel Orban of Belgian side Gent and Abdul Baba Rahman of Greek giants PAOK Thessaloniki.
Orban scores for Gent in Massive win
New season, same old Gift Orban. He has gotten his first full season with the Belgian club off to a flying start with a goal in their UEFA Europa Conference League fixture against a very young MSK Zilina side.
Gent's 21-year-old star opened the scoring for his team in the 23rd minute of the game. His first goal of the season was the opener for a very dominant performance from the home team.
They entertained the Gent fans in the Ghelamco arena as well as those at home with a 5-1 victory that had them dominate every area of the match. At full-time, they had 70% of the ball and 14 total shots (with nine on target) compared to Zilina's two (none on target).
🔵⚪️ Gent putting in a dominant performance at home…
⚽️ J. De Sart
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) July 28, 2023
Julien De Sart, Tsuyoshi Watanabe and a brace from Hugo Cuypers rounded up the scoring for Gent as they go into the second leg of proceedings with one leg in the next round.
Baba Rahman helps keep clean sheet in home draw
This Conference League match between PAOK and Beitar Jerusalem saw PAOK go into the home game as the favorites to win but the away team was resolute and managed to deal with the pressure put on them for most of the game.
In the end they came away with a goalless draw away from home and PAOK will be disappointed not to have won.
The club from Israel will hope that this positive result and momentum will help them get a huge win in the return leg, where they will be the hosts.
Baba Rahman put in a decent shift during the match but the 28-year-old Ghana international ended up getting booked in his first match back with the Black and Whites.
— PAOK FC (@PAOK_FC) July 28, 2023
African teammates playing for both sides
Gift Orban and Abdul Rahman Baba were not the only African players on their respective teams for the Conference League matchups.
For PAOK, William Troost-Ekong was in the starting lineup for his new club for the first time. The Super Eagles vice captain also put in a decent shift at the back as his side played out a frustrating goalless draw.
For Gent, Jordan Torunarigha started in the 5-1 win over MSK Zilina. The German of Nigerian descent was not able to help his side get a clean sheet but that will most likely matter little as they have a four goal advantage going into the second leg.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago