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UECL Qualifiers: Gift Orban nets hat-trick as Gent trounce Pogon

Nigerian striker now has five goals in only three games this season

Red-hot striker Gift Orban showed his deadly finishing in front of goal as he netted a hat-trick for KAA Gent in their 5-0 win at home to Pogon Szczecin in their UEFA Europa Conference League Third Qualifying Round in Belgium.

Nigerian youngster Orban enjoyed a breakout year after joining Gent in January and has taken that form into the 2023-24 season. He scored in both of his appearances this season against MSK Zilina and KV Kortrijk.

Orban led the line for Gent after he was rested for the second leg of the previous round against Zilina, and he duly opened the scoring after only 13 minutes. The 21-year-old reacted quickest to stab home from close range after the opposition goalkeeper parried an effort into his path.

With 35 minutes on the clock, the former Stabaek man doubled his and his team’s tally with a fine, looping header after he connected with a cross from Sven Kums inside the box.

Orban was again involved five minutes later as he relentlessly pressed the goalkeeper, forcing him to play a loose pass into the feet of Hugo Cuypers, who curled the ball into an empty net to make it three.

With the first half nearly concluded, Gent scored their fourth of the night through Cuypers in added time to put them in the driving seat after only a quarter of the tie.

Shortly after the hour mark, Orban completed his hat-trick to round off the scoring. The brilliant striker received the ball outside the box before turning his man inside and out, and drilling a precise shot past the hapless goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net.

Orban was substituted after 89 minutes, drawing the curtain on another dazzling performance for Gent. The youngster is on the radar of Tottenham Hotspur and Lille, and will surely leave Gent sooner rather than later.

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