Gift Orban announced his arrival at Olympique Lyon in emphatic fashion, scoring a crucial opener in their pulsating 2-1 victory over rivals LOSC Lille in the Coupe de France round of 16.
Thrust into the starting lineup for the first time, the 21-year-old Nigerian wasted no time making his mark. In the 40th minute, he cleverly dispossessed defender Alexsandro Ribeiro before showcasing his composure with a deft chip over the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Rayan Cherki, who orchestrated the opening goal with a pinpoint pass, doubled the lead just two minutes into the second half. However, Lille refused to go down without a fight, pulling one back through Ribeiro in the 53rd minute. Despite their late surge, the visitors couldn’t find the equalizer, leaving Lyon to celebrate a hard-fought victory.
Since joining from KAA Gent in January, Orban had made cameo appearances off the bench in Ligue 1, but this cup tie was his first opportunity to truly shine. His impressive performance showcased his potential, leaving fans excited about what the future holds.
Speaking after the game, a confident Orban declared his ambition: “Winning the Cup? Yes, that’s a goal. I want to win every match, be it the Cup, the league, or the Europa League. I want to play in Europe, to have matches on Thursdays and Sundays,” Orban said after the match.
“Waiting between Friday and Saturday can be tiring. Playing in Europe would be fantastic, as it would keep us competitive.”
Orban was eventually substituted for experienced striker Alexandre Lacazette in the 69th minute.