Tolu Arokodare shoots Genk to a 5-4 penalty shootout victory

Tolu Arokodare shoots Genk to a 5-4 penalty shootout victory
Credit: Icon Sport
  1. Tolu Arokodare had a night of mixed feelings as he led his Belgian side to a 5-4 penalty shootout win over their Turkish opponents Adana Demirspor.

The Belgian side travelled to the Turkish side with a 1-0 first-leg win to defend.

It was not an easy night for the Belgian side, as they sought to progress into the Europa Conference League. group stage.

KRC Genk filed out in a 4-4-2 formation as they tried to hold off Adana, who was playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Tolu Arokodare could only find a spot on the bench as his teammates tried to maintain their first-leg lead.

The omens seemed to suggest a long and challenging night for Genk. It was a long night for the away side, as 120 minutes of action could not separate the two sides.

Tolu Arokodare is on the bench as Genk go down in the first half

Genk celevbrates win with Tolu Arokodare
Credit: Icon Sport

It was a first half of intense pressure on Genk as they tried to weather the storm in Turkey.

A 1-0 win is not much of a lead, and the home side stormed out of the blocks, looking to cancel the first leg as quickly as possible.

The first opportunity came in the third minute for Adana, as Yusuf Sari hit a shot from outside the box that went close but missed slightly.

Adana were controlling the game, but the defensive shape of Genk was making it arduous for them to create clear-cut chances.

With goal-scoring opportunities at a premium, both sides turned to taking shots from outside the box. The few attempts yielded no dividends, with Genk content with the situation.

Genk was playing the offside trap effectively, but they were living a charmed life as Adana came close to breaking through the lines thrice.

In the seventh minute of the first half added time, Genk conceded a penalty. Patrik Hrosovsky handled the ball in the box.

Cherif Ndiaye stepped up to take the penalty but saw his shot saved by the goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt.

Ndiaye made amends by hitting in the rebound from close range.

Tolu Arokodare comes on in the second half

Tolu Arokodare celebrates victory
Credit: Icon Sport

Genk could not afford to concede another goal. They needed to score to tilt the tie back in their favour.

With the game level after an hour of action, Genk coach Wouter Vrancken decided to bring reinforcements. He made a rash of substitutions that included Tolu Arokodare.

Adana kept piling on the pressure and came close in the 70th minute. Nigerian winger David Akintola saw his header saved by the goalkeeper.

Tolu Arokodare was struggling to make his impact felt in the game. When he made his presence known, it was for the wrong reason. The Nigerian forward received a yellow card in added time for a bad foul.

Tolu Arokodare finally got into the game for the right reasons. Nine minutes into the added time, Tolu saw his header off a Luca Oyen cross come off the right post.

The second half ended all square on aggregate.

Still all square after 120 minutes

Extra time saw Genk trying to get a foothold in the game.

Two minutes after the restart, Luca Oyen blasted a shot inside the box but saved by Ertac Ozbir.

A minute from the end of the first half extra time, Genk had an attempt from outside the box that the Adana goalkeeper saved at his bottom left corner.

Tolu Arokodare was quiet, as his Nigerian compatriot David Akintola was active for Adana.

Late into the second half extra time, Tolu saw his header go wide. It turned out to be his last meaningful act of the half.

Tolu leads Genk to a shootout victory

Tolu Arokodare scores the decisive penalty against Adana
Credit: Icon Sport

After 120 minutes, nothing separated both sides, and penalties were needed.

M’Baye Niang and Benjamin Stambouli scored the opening two penalties for Adana, with Bryan Heynen and Christopher Bonsu responding in kind.

Younes Belhanda was the villain, as he blasted his shot too high.

Genk scored their following two penalties through Amouar Ait El Hadj and Aziz Quattara.

Adana needed to score their last penalty to pile pressure on Genk, and David Akintola responded with a goal down the middle.

The weight of expectations was now on Tolu Arokodare, but the Nigerian forward was up to the task.

He strode forward and hit his shot into the bottom right corner to send Genk to the UEFA Conference League group stage draw.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.