MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, November 19, 2012
It took the full 90 minutes for Anderlecht to score but score they did, thereby collecting all the points thanks to Dieumerci Mbokani's late goal.
In this hard fought contest against Kortrijk, who hold down the sixth spot, midfielder Sacha Kljestan went the distance for les Mauves and could have sealed the win late in the second half.
Although Anderlecht dominated the game, a resilient Kortrijk defense, and especially their South African goalkeeper, Darren Keet, played their hearts out and held off the champions until the very end. Keet was called upon several times early in the game and one of their best chances was by Massimo Bruno, but the youngster sent his shot wide of the target. The South African's biggest save came five minutes before the intermission. After Mbokani's shot was handled in the box by Romain Renaud, the referee point to the spot. Lucas Biglia's shot was a decent one, but Keet made the stop to keep his team level going at the break.
Kljestan had a good game but he failed to shine when in the 84th minute the American beat his defender, stormed into the box and from 16 yards out only had Keet to beat. Instead of putting the ball into the back of the net, he sent it into the side netting. Defender Cheikhou Kouyaté was also guilty of blowing a chance minutes before.
The breakthrough did come however in the last minute of regular time. Ex Liverpool man, Milan Jovanovic picked out Kouyaté on the other side of the box. The Senegalese defender immediately sent it back in the same direction and Mbokani, with his back to goal, brought the ball down on his right foot, turned on a dime and fired low into the near corner past the diving Keet.
The win keeps the champions in the top spot as they put a little more space between themselves and second place Zulte Waregem who could only muster a 0-0 draw at home against Standard Liege.
Anderlecht next takes to the field at home against AC Milan in Champions League action on Wednesday before returning to league action against Beerschot on Saturday.