MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, May 14, 2018
Ethan Horvath was between the sticks for Club Brugge as they shared the points with Standard Liege while Kenny Saief came off after 15 minutes as Anderlecht fell on the road to Gent.
Standard Liege 1 - 1 Club Brugge
American Ethan Horvath started his first game of the playoffs and it turned out to be the game that decided the Belgian championship.
Club didn't get off to the best of starts over in Liege. Off a corner kick, Christian Luyindama's headed shot from six yards out was knocked away by Horvath, but it went right to Konstantinos Laifis and his header from the same distance beat the Yank to give the home team the lead after just 11 minutes.
The Colorado native was called into action in the 24th minute when Edmilson got off a decent shot in the box that was knocked away and the rebounded shot easily caught. Then at the other end Hans Vanaken would have found the equalizer but the Standard keeper's hand pushed it wide. Wesley also had a couple of late first half chances but Francisco Ochoa between the Standard sticks was again up to the task.
Everything was all square just before the intermission thanks to Jelle Vossen. Ruud Vormer was played into the box on the right side and although his marker pulled him back, he managed to square the ball and find his Belgian colleague right in front of goal. The Mexican keeper wasn't so lucky this time and all he could do was pick the ball out of the back of his net. The video assistant referee confirmed that the goal was good and not a handball as the Liege players suggested.
The big American was called upon to make a couple more saves and also collected a late yellow card but in the end one point was all that was needed.
Because of the point and Anderlecht failing to win, the title returned to Club Brugge after they relinquished it last year to the Brussels based team. Horvath and Club will now find themselves in next season's Champions League.
Kortrijk 1 - 1 Mouscron
Erik Palmer Brown played the full 90 minutes for Kortrijk as they could only muster a 1-1 tie against their Walloon neighbors on Friday night.
The scoring came very late in the game when at the 70th minute mark substitute Vladimir Kovačević's cross into the box was met by the head of Athanasios Papazoglou from a half dozen yards out.
But it was only two minutes later when the equalizer was scored. Dorin Rotariu outran a pair of defenders and got his shot off that bounced between the legs of the keeper and into the net.
Kortrijk and their American defender will play their last game of the season up north against Waasland-Beveren.
Kenny Saief saw only 15 minutes of action as Anderlecht lost on the road to KAA Gent, 1-0. The loss ended their chances of retaining their title.
Juan Pablo Torres missed out as Sporting Lokeren beat Beerschot-Wilrijk by 4 goals to 2. The win confirms that they are the winners of Group B and will face Zulte-Waregem after the last game of the group stages next week.