MICHAEL ADUBATO - Sunday, January 17, 2021
It was a good weekend of mixed fortunes for Yanks in Belgium as a couple went the distance in wins, but others were not so lucky in Pro League action.
Oostende 2 - 1 Kortrijk
Brendan Hines-Ike put in a 90 minute shift for KV Kortrijk when they made the trip to the Belgian coastal town on Oostende to take on KVO, but things didn't go according to plan with them going behind early on and not being able to recover in the 2-1 defeat. Both goals for the hosts came from Zambian front man Fashion Sakala; while Pape Gučye got the consolation goal for the visitors.
It would be fair to say that the game should have been postponed based on the fact that the field was covered with snow and was quite slippery. The referee decided to play the game anyway and both sides did the best they could under the circumstances.
It turned out that the Zambian was the best skater on the field when he latched onto the ball and got off a decent shot, before finally making the breakthrough in just the 18th minute. He scored with his right foot just a few yards in front of goal after a header from his Scottish team mate Jack Hendry picked him out.
His second goal was a gift due to a moment of madness after Hines-Ike played a back pass to keeper Marko Ilić. Sakala bore down on him but instead of clearing the ball down field, the Serbian decided to display some fancy footwork, by nutmegging the striker from close range. Unfortunately he didn't possess any fancy footwork and the #10 grabbed the ball and tapped it into the net.
A penalty in stoppage time by Timothy Derijck wasn't enough in the end although it could have counted for a point without the mistake earlier on. The Kerels will be back in action again on Wednesday afternoon when they welcome Chris Durkin and Sint Truiden town.
Eupen 2 - 0 Anderlecht
Matt Miazga started and went the distance for Anderlecht as they played a Friday night fixture in Eupen, near the German border, and came away with nothing as they fell to a depeleted Eupen team, 2-0. Although three of their starters were missing due to injury, the hosts dug in and defended their turf well, keeping a clean sheet and finding the back of the next on two occasions. Both goals came in the second half from Smail Prevljak.
Les Mauves had a half decent third minute chance but a much better one in the 17th minute where when keeper Theo Defourny had to make an acrobatic save to parry away Josh Cullen's shot. Although both sides would have a few half decent chances in the first half, the nature of the game changed when Anderlecht's captain, Kemar Lawrence, definitely didn't lead by example when he made a horrible foul against Emmanuel Agbadou and was short a straight red card. The sending off of the former New York Red Bull happened in the 39th minute.
Although Miazga and his back line defended well with a man down, the breakthrough only came when the Bosnian striker capitalized on keeper Timon Wellenreuther's error. This was 15 minutes before time. Ten minutes later this former Red Bull (Salzburg) was celebrating his ninth goal of the season.
After getting themselves back on track and into the main playoff group, Vincent Kompany's side have dropped their last two games and now find themselves down in seventh place, though just a point out of that fourth spot. They'll look for all three points on Tuesday night when they host Sporting Charleroi.
Waasland-Beveren 1 - 5 Zulte Waregem
Joe Efford got the nod for struggling Waasland-Beveren and played the entire game, but it was a night to remember because Zulte-Waregem came to town and gave them a 5-1 spanking at Freethiel Stadium. Goals came from Gianni Bruno, who just missed a hat-trick, as well as a brace from Nikos Kainourgios and a strike from late second half sub Panagiotis Armenakas. Michael Frey scored for the hosts early in the second half.
Bruno got the scoring underway after just 26 minutes when Omar Govea picked him out and the Belgian made no mistake with his finish. Ten minutes later his Greek team mate, Kainourgios nodded a cross from Laurens De Bock into the back of the net. Up two-nil at the half, it was time for the Lions to get back into the game and they did just that after the intermission.
Four minutes later, the score was 2-1 after loanee from Fenerbahçe, Michael Frey scored from the penalty spot. The happiness turned to misery again in the 70th minute when Bruno scored his second of the night and his 10th of the season. The Belgian was given the chance to score his hat trick from the penalty spot in the 78th minute but keeper Nordin Jackers guessed the right way and parried the shot away. Kainourgios was the quickest off the line and slammed it into the back of the net.
Australian substitution Armenakas came off the bench in the 88th minute and in the 92nd was celebrating his first goal for his new team.
The loss leaves Efford and his team mates in last place with relegation threatening. They'll look to right the ship when they travel to fellow strugglers Mouscron on Tuesday night.
Sint Truiden 3 - 1 OH Leuven
It was a good night for Chris Durkin and the Canaries as they put in a winning performance at the Stayen on Sunday night with a 3-1 victory over Leuven, thanks to Yuma Suzuki brace and another from new signing Ilombé Mboyo. Thomas Henry found the back of the net for Leuven.
Mboyo, who just joined Sint Truiden from Kortrijk, set up Suzuki just 10 minutes into the game and the Japanese striker finished the job, scoring his ninth goal of the season. Fifteen minutes later however, Henry stuck and the game was all square.
Just before the intermission, in the 39th minute in fact, Mboyo turned from provider to goal-scorer, finding the back of the net for the first time for his new team.
Leading the game at the intermission, things only got better for the Canaries when once again Mboyo provided another assist for his Japanese colleague. And this is how it ended - three points for Sint Truiden and a climb up the standings to the 15th spot. Although four points from relegation, there is still more work to do and they'll look to add more points when Mboyo goes up against his former team when they travel to Kortrijk.
Having just joined up with Genk last week, Mark McKenzie got to watch his new team from the bench when they travelled to take on a struggling Excel Mouscron side. It was second place Genk who struggled on the night however and left with their tails between their legs as they were defeated by the team that was in last place. McKenzie will most likely make his debut when the Smurfs host Gent on Thursday evening.
Club Brugge headed to Antwerp to take on Beerschot and, as usual, Ethan Horvath had to be content with his place on the bench behind Simon Mignolet. Club came away with a 3-0 win and continues to hold onto the top spot in the Pro League standings. They'll next be in action on Wednesday night when they host Oostende.