Hein Vanhaezebrouck believes that the Qarabag should not be taken lightly in the next round of the Conference League. Gent were drawn against the Azerbaijani side in the knock out round of the Conference league, and Vanhaezebrouck believes that the travel distance makes it a difficult tie. As reported by Voetbalkrant, the Gent head coach said “Of the eight possible opponents, there was not really one that you thought: we have a chance to continue more easily”, before going on to say “It is a 5:30 flight, which is an hour longer than our trip to Cyprus”.
Gent could have been drawn against Italian giants Lazio, who instead got Romanian side CFR Cluj. Fellow Pro League side Anderlecht will face Bulgarian champions Ludogorets. Comparing the likes of Lazio and Qarabag, the Gent coach said “They were actually quite difficult teams. Lazio was indeed a name, a beautiful city too, the densest of them all, by the way. On the other hand, there were also quite a lot of distant trips, all with a travel time of 4:30 to 5 hours. We did indeed draw the furthest”.
Gent qualified for the knockout stages for the second successive season thanks to a 4-0 win at home to Molde. The Buffaloes went into the game knowing that only a win would secure their passage through to the next stage of the competition. Goals from Andrew Hjulsager, Bruno Godeau, Sven Kums and Hugo Cuypers saw Gent comfortably through to face Qarabag.