MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, February 8, 2021
Matt Miazga and Anderlecht came away with three points, while Chris Durkin and his Canaries suffered defeat on the Belgian seaside in weekend Pro League action.
Genk 1-2 Anderlecht
In what should have been a battle between a couple of American internationals and their teams, it was only New Jersey born Matt Miazga who was on the field for his Anderlecht team, while New York born Mark McKenzie stayed on the substitute's bench at the Luminus Arena. Les Mauves have rediscovered their winning touch with victories in their last two games after the previous three ended up in draws.
The hosts took the very early lead when a lazy back pass to Miazga at the half-way mark of the field was intercepted by Theo Bongonda. The Belgian striker flew down the field with the ball at his feet, outrunning the American defender and shooting past Timon Wellenreuther, who got a touch but not strong enough to divert it from the goal. So after two minutes, the hosts were up a goal.
If the first goal was bad luck for the visitors, then the next one was very good luck. In the 19th minute Anderlecht attacked and from about 20 yards out, just to the right of the D, Francis Amuzu shot the ball at the near corner. It beat the diving Genk keeper, Daniel Vukovic, but smacked against the crossbar. It then bounced off the back of the Australian and ended up in the back of his net to tie up the score.
Three minutes later the boys from Brussels a lead that they would never relinquish thanks to Anouar El Hadj. The Belgian teenager was picked out as he ran into the box by Albert-Mboyo Lokonga. With one touch to control it, the Belgian smashed it inside the far post for his first professional goal.
Irishman Josh Cullen should have increased the score but this time Vukovic got a strong hand to the shot and diverted it away minutes before the intermission.
In the second half it was all one way traffic for Anderlecht but try as they may, they couldn't add to their goals tally, though coach Vincent Kompany seemed to be more than happy with the final score.
During the week there will be a slate of Belgian Cup clashes and both teams will take part. Genk will host Sint Truiden and Chris Durkin on Wednesday evening, while les Mauves have their Cup game in Brussels but at the home of Union St Gilles. Over the weekend, both teams will be back in league action with Genk traveling to the Belgian coast to take on Oostende, while Miazga's team heads to Brugge to take on Cercle.
Oostende 3-1 Sint-Truiden
Chris Durkin got the nod and went the distance when the Canaries traveled to Oostende, but they came away empty-handed as the Seasiders put three past Daniel Schmidt in the visitor's goal to keep the team in last place. The victory came, thanks to a pair of penalties awarded to the home team.
Sint Truiden had an early chance and probably should have taken the lead. Bearing down on goal and with the defender slipping on the wet field, Yuma Suzuki had a free shot at goal but the Japanese striker kicked it wide of the target. Though KVO had more sniffs at goal, the breakthrough for them finally came in the 38th minute when Makhtar Gueye slotted home from inside the box. A couple of corner kicks from Sint Truiden came to nothing and the score stayed 1-0 as the team's headed to the locker room at the half.
KVO's took the lead on the hour mark when an attacked was thwarted by a defensive handball inside the box. Makhtar Gueye put the ball on the spot and the Senegalese easily beat Schmidt. About 15 minutes later it was déjà vu all over again when another handball turned into another penalty. For some reason Gueye, decided against scoring a hat trick and let Junior Sakala score his 13th goal of the season.
Suzuki was able to finally score in the 90th minute but it was too little, too late for the Canaries. Though they have a Cup game on wedne night against Genk, they'd be better off concentrating on league results because next season they could possibly be playing one division down. Their next league game will be over the weekend against Zulte-Waregem
Brendan Hines-Ike did not suit up for Kortrijk's 3-0 derby win over Excel Mouscron. The American was rested for the Cup game Tuesday night when they host Standard Liege. They'll return to league action over the weekend with a trip to Leuven.
Waasland-Beveren hosted Club Brugge and lost to them by a 2-0 scoreline. Joe Efford started on the bench and only got to play the last five minutes, while Ethan Horvath continued as a back-up for Simon Mignolet. W-B were knocked out of the Belgian Cup last week by Oostende, so their next game will be Saturday evening when Eupen comes to town. Club will take on Royal Antwerp on Wednesday in Cup action before traveling to Charleroi over the weekend.