MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Just a couple of Yanks saw action this week past weekend with Chris Durkin going the distance for Sint Truiden and Joe Efford also starting but ending his night prematurely.
Anderlecht 3-1 Sint Truiden
This could have been a Yank vs Yank affair, but although Kenny Saief has returned to Anderlecht from his season-long loan to Legia Gdansk in the Polish League, now retired player and full-time Anderlecht coach Vincent Kompany sees the American as surplus to requirements and has kept him away from first team training. A deal seems to be in the works however for the US international to return to Gdansk on a permanent move.
Youngster Chris Durkin did suit up for the Canaries and played the 90 minutes but in a losing effort as his team left Constant van den Stock Stadium with no points to take home on the bus.
Anderlecht is on a mission to recover from their abysmal 2019-2020 campaign and have taken another step in the right direction by putting three past Kenny Steppe in the STVV goal. The strikes came from three different players with Bogdan Mykhaylichenko striking just before the half, followed by a couple more, courtesy of Dimata just after the half and a late one by Balongo.
The Ukrainian's strike was one that he created all by himself after receiving a pass from Jeremy Doku 30 or so yards away from goal. The midfielder latched onto the pass and charged forward, dancing around a pair of defenders then pulling the trigger just inside the box and beating Steppe at the far post.
A few minutes after the restart Ibrahima Sankhon was shown a yellow card after a horrible incident where he stopped on the back of Doku's calf that could have turned out to be a serious incident. VAR got involved and the yellow card turned into a red card, thus leaving the visitors almost half the game to play with a man down. St Truiden payed twice for this indiscretion because off the free kick that was delivered into the box, Dimata met it with his head and nodded it just inside of the far post to double the lead.
Things could have gotten worse in the 55th minute when Dimata was given time and space to shoot from just inside the top of the box but Steppe stepped up to the plate and got fingers onto the shot, pushing it up and watching it smack against his crossbar. The number 9 couldn't believe that he missed such an easy chance for his second goal.
The Canaries found themselves back in the game when a ball played through by Ko Matsubara was met by the stretching leg and toe of Nelson Balongo, who got just enough on his shot to poke it past the charging Anderlecht keeper. The Congolese had only been on the field for 15 minutes. The goal came two minutes before the 90 minute mark.
But if the boys in yellow thought that this was their fight back to rescue a point, that idea ended when a long ball found substitute Percy Tau looped the ball over Steppe's head from outside the box.
Durkin and his team mates will try again when they welcome the Seasiders from Oostende to the Stayen.
Waasland-Beveren hosted Standard Liege on this Monday night game. Joe Efford started but suffered a hamstring injury in the 12th minute and had to be replaced. The extent of the injury is not yet known. Although the Flemish team scored first, just before the hour mark, les Rouges got the equalizer six minutes later and then the winner minutes later. The 2-1 loss leaves the team with three points out of a possible six thus far.
Probably without their American taking part, Waasland-Beveren will make a short trip over the weekend to take on Zulte-Waregem.
Brendan Hines-Ike is still waiting for his first competitive game this season so had watched Kortrijk's road victory over Gent from the bench. The Kerels led at the half but the Buffaloes fought back and in the 59th minute things were all square. The visitors' winner came with just seven minutes left on the clock. The 2-1 victory gives the team their first win of the season.
Hines-Ike will hope to see some game time this weekend when Kortrijk welcomes Eupen to the Guldensporen Stadium.
Ethan Horvath and Club Brugge traveled to Eupen and although the American stayed rooted to the bench, his team came away with the win, scoring four to their hosts' one goal. This leaves the boys from Brugge with their first win of the very young season.
Staying at home this coming weekend, they'll host Antwerp based team Beerschot for a Sunday matinee.