MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, May 22, 2009
Standard Liege's central defender Oguchi Onyewu was not able to help his young Belgian goalkeeper, Sinan Bolat, keep a clean sheet in last night's first leg of the play-off to determine the Jupiler Pro League champions, but he did well to save them from going home a goal down.
"Bolat dropped the ball and I was able to stop their shot just before it crossed the line," the big American told YA.
Onyewu's biggest complaint about the game was the attitude and racial slurs from Anderlecht's 6'4" defender, Jelle Van Damme.
"I almost ended up fighting him (Van Damme). He called me a monkey several times."
Fortunately Onyewu kept his cool and didn't retaliate, ending the game as the only one of Les Rouches' defenders who did not pick up a yellow card up in Brussels last night.
"The league has these anti-racism campaigns, but when I told the referee what Van Damme was saying, he chose not to do anything about it. I also told the journalists after the game last night about this."
With the away goal to their credit, Standard have the advantage going into Sunday night's final game, after the contest in Brussels ended a goal apiece.
Onyewu insisted that the game plan was not to sit back on the lead but to put on a show.
"It's going to be a good game and we're going to make the city of Liege proud! We're going for the win."
Although focusing on Sunday night, the ex-Clemson Tiger will then fly back to the USA on Tuesday.
"I have to fly straight to Florida to join the national team. This week was supposed to be my vacation."
The game kicks off on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. Belgian time at the Stade Maurice Defrasne on the banks of the River Meuse.