MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, January 29, 2021
The Pro League had a slate of games midweek as most Belgian based Yanks saw playing time in game day 24.
Mouscron 1 - 1 Anderlecht
Matt Miazga continued his Anderlecht adventure, slotting into his central defensive role and was, in the end, happy with the late equalizer after his defensive faux pas allowed Mouscron to take an early lead thanks to the quick thinking Bruno Xadas who lit up the scoreboard in the 18th minute. Anderlecht was rescued from the penalty spot thanks to a clean strike from Lukas Nmecha in the 94th minute.
The hosts, who sit in 16th place, probably expecting nothing from the game, set out their stall and held the visitors at bay for most of the game, allowing them to only get off six shots and only one of those on target. The ball did find the back of the net however in the first half, but VAR intervened and ruled it to have been offside.
In the second half les Mauves played with more commitment and took charge with Mouscron often floundering. Their American defender had his chance too at redeeming himself for the first half blunder but his shot went into the side netting, on the outside. The hosts began to struggle with the pace of the game and mistakes crept into their decision making. The penalty, which looked to be a gift from the referee, allowed Anderlecht to get out of town with a point in the bag.
Next up, Vincent Kompany's team will stay in Brussels over the weekend as they host a Gent team that is still trying to rediscover how to win.
Waasland-Beveren 2 - 3 Mechelen
Joe Efford returned to the WB starting line-up but the result went the other way as Mechelen put 3 past Nordin Jackers between the Lions' sticks. The goals came from Sandy Walsh and Marian Shved in the first half, giving the Kakkers a 2-0 half time lead before the hosts fought back and got things all square before Schved struck the winner deep in stoppage time.
To say that the hosts have been struggling as of late would be an understatement as they haven't registered a W since mid-December and stay at the bottom of the Pro League standings, with relegation an inevitability if they don't change their losing ways.
Schved created the first goal, getting himself into the box and cutting the ball back to his Dutch colleague, Walsh, after just eight minutes had been played. The little Ukrainian then found the back of the net himself in the 26th, giving the visitors a 2-0 half time lead on the road.
If the Kakkers expected the Lions to just roll over, they were wrong because before they knew it, the game was all square. Frenchman Sadek Faucher started the second half and 15 minutes later was celebrating his first goal for his new team. Ten minutes later he was celebrating his second.
But then things went wrong for the hosts very late on. After missing the chance to steal the game themselves, Beveren could only watch in disbelief when Schved was allowed to get a shot off that found the back of the net in the 92nd minute.
The game showed improvement for the East Flanders team but they're going to have to do even better when they make the short trip east to take on second place Royal Antwerp.
Gent 1 - 1 Sint-Truiden
Chris Durkin went the distance for the Canaries when they traveled to Gent and almost left with maximum points after Facundo Colidio gave them a first-half lead that lasted until the very last minute of stoppage time. When it was all over, however, they had to be content with just the one point.
Sint-Truiden had put their bad results behind them with a pair of victories before falling to Mouscron over the weekend. In Gent they put up a half-decent defensive display, holding their hosts to just four shots on goal. As good as their defense was, their offense left wanting as they only managed one shot on goal themselves but fortunately that was Colidio's 23rd-minute strike that the Argentinian beat Sinan Bolat with.
The game stayed pretty compact with the visitors holding their own until the 90th-minute mark passed. After some desperation from Gent, they got their reward when American born Japanese keeper Daniel Schmidt blundered and got credit with a goal, unfortunately, one that went into his own net.
The Canaries will lick their wounds and go again over the weekend, this time at home when they host the penultimate team in the league standings, Cercle Brugge.
Mark McKenzie came off the bench halfway through the second half in Genk's game against Zulte-Waregem where his team came away 3-2 victors. As the American is slowly given being acclimatized into the team, he'll hope to start soon, hopefully over the weekend away to Mechelen.
Brendan Hines-Ike got a rest for this midweek game and stayed on the bench as his Kortrijk team played Beerschot to a scoreless draw in Antwerp. They'll have another go at three points over the weekend when they host Sporting Charleroi on Saturday evening.
Ethan Horvath had his regular spot on the bench as Club Brugge claimed a 2-1 win over rivals Cercle Brugge.