Okumu sees yellow as KAA Gent defeat Anorthosis Famagusta FC in Europa Conference League

The towering Harambee Star returned to action after missing their last league win against Club Brugge on August 29

Kenya international Joseph Okumu played 90 minutes on return to action as KAA Gent secured a 2-0 win against Anorthosis Famagusta FC in their Europa Conference League fixture on Thursday.

The towering Harambee Star was making a return to the squad after missing their 6-1 win against Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League fixture on August 29 and he featured for the entire game but was yellow-carded in the 64th minute.

Gent were the better side in the opening exchanges and they took a deserved lead in the 28th minute when defender Pavlos Correa scored into his own before Sven Kums slotted home the second goal in the 81st minute.

Okumu, who missed the Brugge game due to injury, was drafted into the starting XI by head coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck and with only five minutes played, he was called upon to make a clever save after Anorthosis’s Andreas Chrysostomou raced through the right-wing and delivered a cross but he dived to head it out for a corner.

Gent then sensed danger and produced their first attack through dangerman Tarik Tissoudali with Cameroon international Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, and the latter then released Andreas Hanche-Olsen but his final effort was not powerful enough to trouble goalkeeper Assaf Tzur.

Gent took the lead against the run of play after a cross from Tissoudali was turned into the net by defender Korrea, who thought he had cleared it to safety only for the ball to bounce past goalkeeper Tzur.

In the second half, Gent continued to attack, fired on by the huge crowd that turned out at Ghelamco Arena, but they could not break down Anorthosis, who opted to play a defensive game.

Okumu was then booked after a foul on the advancing Denis Popovic and with six minutes left to the final whistle, Gent snatched the second after Kums received a pass from Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and slot the ball past Tzur.

The win ensured Gent have won their two opening matches in Group B and they are now second on the table with six points while Partizan are top also on six points but they have a better goal difference.

Gent and Okumu will now shift their focus to the league action when they travel to face Antwerp at Bosuilstadion on Sunday.

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