Gent will visit Omonia on Thursday in a contest for a place in the Europa League group stage.
The Cypriots can afford a minor setback in the rematch and still advance because they surprise beat Belgium the week before.
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At Gent’s Ghelamco Arena, Omonia won and in fact, very few observers had expected Omonia would win by that score, but that is exactly what they did.
Since taking over as head coach in March of this year, Neil Lennon, a former Manchester United defender, has improved The Queen’s performance. Lennon saved their season by winning the local cup after Berg had supervised Omonia’s first bottom-half finish in Cyprus’ First Division .
Omonia’s first domestic cup victory in ten years has put them in position to go to the group stage of the European tournament for the third straight year. They could not manage to win any games in the first Europa Conference League, thus the Europa League is a significant step up in quality from their previous outing.
Despite last week’s fantastic performance and outcome, Lennon will be determined to keep his players from becoming complacent because an early goal for the visiting team may significantly change the outcome of the match.
Hein Vanhaezebrouck would have anticipated a lot better performance than his team’s loss in Cyprus last Thursday, despite the fact that their fifth-place finish in the Belgian First Division was indicative of their recent, slow slide.
After Charalambous’s goal, they tried to win the game, but they left themselves far too vulnerable to a sucker-punch in transition, which is exactly what Barker did by extending his team’s lead with less than 15 minutes left.
Gent may come close to reversing the tie, but Omonia will be confident of scoring a goal at home after scoring twice in Belgium.
Vanhaezebrouck’s team would find it very tough to advance because the first leg last week may have already done too much harm.