MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, August 15, 2011
Anderlecht escaped from Lokeren with all three points thanks to a first half goal by Matias Suarez which puts the Brussels boys into second place in the Jupiler Pro League.
Sacha Kljestan put in a 90 minute shift in the tightly contested game where Sporting would have taken a lead after five minutes had it not been for a world class save by Silvio Proto between the visitors' sticks. New signing and ex-Liverpool man Milan Jovanovic started on the bench and was re-introduced to Belgium's version of the beautiful game seven minutes before full time. Dieumerci Mbokani however, was not yet eligible to take part.
Benjamin De Ceulaer's early almost-goal was the smack on the head that Anderlecht needed because they came right back with a couple of chances of their own. Both Suarez and Brazilian Fernando Matos had those chances that Lokeren's Barry Copa was able to deal with. It then fell to the big Pole Marcin Wasilewski, to light up the scoreboard but his header on goal, supplied by Lucas Biglia, was knocked away by the Ivory Coast's number one.
After Matos hit the post and another great chance by Roland Juhasz, the Argentinian Suarez danced through the Flemish defense and struck hard and true to beat Copa for the first and only goal of the game.
In the second half the home team had more chances than the visitors but they all came to nothing, thus conceding all the points to Les Mauves.
Next up for Anderlecht will be a trip to Turkey where they'll take on Jozy Altidore's team of last season, Bursaspor on Thursday in a Europa League qualifier. Returnhome, newcomers to the league, RAEC Mons will be waiting for them up in Brussels on Sunday afternoon.