MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Only a pair of Americans took to the field in Pro League action with Matt Miazga and Anderlecht keeping a clean sheet and Chris Durkin's Canaries suffering another defeat in Belgium.
Sint-Truiden 1-2 Zulte-Waregem
It was another bad day for the Canaries and Chris Durkin, who played the full 90 minutes. They gave up two second-half goals in a matter of minutes and were unable to get back into the game, with only a Yuma Suzuki goal closing the gap, but not enough to grab any points.
As the game got underway both teams were full of energy and attacked each other's goals. Daniel Schmidt was called upon to keep the ball out of the Sint-Truiden and then at the other end, Suzuki should have scored but the post instead Louis Bostyn also parried away a couple of headers that were heading into the back of his net.
After the intermission, Essevee only took seven minutes to take the lead when Jean-Luc Dompé got around his defender on the wing and into the danger zone, where he smashed a beautiful shot into the back of Schmidt's net. Three minutes later the Japanese international was picking the ball out of the back of his net yet again; this time it was Gianni Bruno who lit up the scoreboard with his 14th goal of the season.
Suzuki almost got the Canaries back into the game when he was given too much space and hit a sweet shot between the posts but it was called back for offside. He did it again however in the 72nd minute and this time it counted. It also happened to be his 14th goal of the Pro League season.
Suffering their third loss in a row, Durkin's team finds themselves in 15th place with a Sunday night trip to second place Antwerp next.
Cercle Brugge 0-0 Anderlecht
After destroying Union St Gilloise 5-0 in the middle of next week in Belgian Cup action, les Mauves put in a lethargic performance against relegation-threatened Cercle Brugge on Sunday night. On that cold, rainy night neither keeper had to bend down to pull the ball out of the back of his net.
Matt Miazga continued in his defensive spot for the duration, helping keeper Timo Wellenreuther to his sixth clean sheet in the past eight games. Cercle registered four shots on goal (out of nine), while the visitors couldn't get one on target.
It was not a game that fans would have enjoyed if they were allowed in the stadium, but Vincent Kompany's men will look for three points on Sunday when they welcome Kortrijk to town.
Brendan Hines-Ike was left off the team sheet when Kortrijk traveled to Leuven on Friday night. The visitors left Den Dreef Stadium with no points as they fell to OHL 3-1. The loss leaves the Kerels in 13th place, six points out of the second play-off places with just seven games remaining to the regular season. Sunday afternoon they'll travel to Brussels to take on Anderlecht.
Ethan Horvath and first place Club Brugge were given the weekend off as their game against Sporting Charleroi was postponed. This could be a good thing as they will have a Thursday Europa League clash on the road against Dynamo Kiev. Over the weekend they'll welcome OH Leuven to Brugge.
Joe Efford and Waasland-Beveren won't be in action until Wednesday night when Eupen comes to town. W-B are desperate for points as they now sit in last place with relegation on the cards if they don't change their ways.
Mark McKenzie and Genk also have their game on Wednesday night and they'll be heading west to take on KV Oostende on the North Sea. Genk are currently in third place and are looking strong to finish in a top-four play-off spot but there are still many games to come.