KAA Gent’s preseason preparations have continued ahead of their 2023/2024 competitive campaign.
On Friday 21 July, Gift Orban’s Gent took on South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in what was their seventh preseason friendly match.
This fixture was played at the Chillax Arena which is located in Oostakker and the fixture ended in an exciting 2-2 draw.
For Gent, Gift Orban was once again the star player as his two goals helped his team get the draw in the match.
Deze middag speelden onze Buffalo's in hun laatste oefenmatch 2-2 gelijk tegen de Zuid-Afrikaanse kampioen @Masandawana. Gift Orban scoorde beide doelpunten.
— KAA Gent (@KAAGent) July 21, 2023
The 13-time PSL winners and current champions of South Africa showed their quality in the opening part of the game as they got themselves into a flying start with the opening goal after only four minutes of play.
Ribeiro opened the scoring for the Brazilians, who had their tails up from that moment on.
The match became a bit back and forth but Sundowns were the better side during the exchange and they got their reward through Rivaldo Coetzee whose shot from long range beat De Schrevel in the Gent goal and nestled wonderfully in the back of the net. Their second goal came in the 18th minute to underpin their strong start to the match.
Gift Orban shows his quality
Six minutes later, the Super Eagles prospect showed his quality by scoring the first of his two goals in this match. His curling shot was too much for the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper in the net and the 21-year-old Nigerian pulled one back for his team.
The Buffalos’ reaction was strong and they had all the momentum. This momentum was carried into the second half of the game as their quest for an equalizing goal continued.
The pressure they put on their opponents paid off as Gift Orban got his second goal of the game. Gent mercilessly punished a mistake in the Sundowns defence with Tissoudali capitalizing on the opportunity to pass to Orban who finished his chance for 2-2.
Although it was a friendly, it was a tough match that saw a lot of physical duels and even a red card for Mvala of Mamelodi Sundowns after two yellow card offences 15 minutes apart.
The match ended 2-2 and the intensity of the match would've been a great warmup for the two sides looking to go into the new season with as much preparation as possible.
This match was the last preseason match before the competitive campaign begins for Gent as their next match is a UEFA Europa Conference League qualification tie against MSK Zilina. It will be a two legged tie with the first leg being a home game for Gent on the 27th of July.
Gift Orban ready for new season
Last season was Gift Orban’s breakout season where he captured the imagination of the continent. In this campaign, he will look to prove that his talents are legitimate and he is not a one-season wonder.
Orban almost scored a hat-trick against Sundowns and he looked sharp throughout the match. He is ready for another massive campaign.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago