Tarik Tissoudali scored three times as Ghent decimated OH Leuven 5-0 in Belgium’s First Division A game on Sunday.
The Moroccan winger, 29, netted the goals in the second half to boost the Buffalos’ chances of a place in Europe next season.
Having failed to win any of their last six matches in all competitions, Marc Brys’ side traveled to the Ghelamco Arena – hoping to put an end to their poor form.
Nonetheless, those ambitions faded as they were struck for five despite promising in the opening 45 minutes.
Still fresh from their 2-2 draw with Cercle Brugge last time out, Ghent dominated the game judging by possession, but they were unlucky in front of goal.
They got the breakthrough three minutes from the end of half-time through Julien De Sart who fired goalkeeper Rafael Romo after being set up by Sven Kums.
In the 48th minute, Tissoudali doubled the lead before Andrew Hjulsager scored the third with four minutes remaining.
The African star completed his hat-trick with two late goals as the visitors would regret missed chances and poor away defending.
Following his man of the match performance, Tissoudali now has 19 goals in the 2021-22 campaign to stay third with Nigerian international and Genk star Paul Onuachu.
He paraded from start to finish alongside Cameroon international Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, while Ghanaian Elisha Owusu was introduced in the 85th minute for Julien De Sart.
While Joseph Okumu from Kenya, Christopher Operi from Ivory Coast, Sulayman Marreh from Gambia, Ibrahima Cissé from Mali as well as Chinonso Emeka (Nigeria) and Adewale Oladoye (Nigeria) were not dressed for action.
Danish midfielder Hjulsager said the game was a good dress rehearsal for the club’s Belgian Cup game against Anderlecht.
“It was certainly a good dress rehearsal for the cup final, an award you always put first at the start of the season – with the title. We are so close now that we have to go for it 100%” he said. said the club’s website.
“We have the qualities to win anyway, but it will be exciting. Anderlecht also wants to play football. It is especially necessary to make sure that they do not enter their game. It will be – in my opinion – certain. Hopefully we can bring the cup to Ghent.