Only Sam Vines and Joe Efford started for their Belgian clubs and both were successful with 3-0 victories, while Chris Durkin and Jacob Mendes made cameos.

Royal Antwerp 3 – 0 Oostende

Sam Vines kept his starting defensive spot for Royal Antwerp when KVO Oostende came to town and played the whole 90 minutes as he helped his keeper, Jean Butez to another clean sheet against the Seasiders.

Desperate to hold onto a top 4 spot, the Great Old did just that with goals from three different players.  Viktor Fischer struck first just minutes after the intermission, followed by Michael Frey 15 minutes later, followed by Benson Manuel 10 minutes before the final whistle.

The first half was one to forget as both teams went through the motions but appeared to have their minds elsewhere.  This was not so after the intermission when the goals started to flow.

Birger Verstraete picked out Mbwana Samatta’s run with a perfect pass.  The Tanzanian then spotted his Danish colleague flying up the wing and laid the ball off for him.  Fischer charged into the box and hit a perfect shot to give Antwerp the lead as the net rippled in the 48th minute.

From the minute the goal went in, Antwerp were a whole different team and dominated play, while Oostende had trouble adjusting to the quicker pace of the game. Verstraete let off a half decent shot but the KVO keeper kept it out, surrendering a corner kick.  And from that, Frey got to the ball first and nodded home.

The 80th minute final goal that stuck the nail in the Seasiders coffin was courtesy of Manuel.

Sunday afternoon will be the Antwerp derby when RAFC makes the 20 minute trip down to the Olympic Stadium to take on Beerschot.  It could be a goalfest with the team from the south of the city sitting in last place with a -15 goal difference.

RE Virton 0 – 3 Waasland-Beveren

Waasland-Beveren made the long bus ride to take on Oguchi Onyewu’s RE Virton on Friday night and left hours later with three points in the bag thanks to a hat trick from Kevin Hoggas.  Joe Efford started the game and put in a 75 minute shift, while Jacob Montes came off the bench in the 68th minute.

Three minutes into the game the visitors were awarded a corner kick after Thomas Reyner’s shot was deflected wide of the goal.  The corner kick however paid dividends with Hoggas losing his marker and heading it past the Virton keeper.

The Frenchman was celebrating 10 minutes later when he ran onto Jacob Jacobsen’s cross and used his head once again.  The home team were unable to mount any kind of threat at the other end and to rub salt into their wounds, they gave up a 43rd minute penalty that allowed Hoggas to complete his hat trick.

The second half bore no more goals and the Wolves were happy to bring their 3 points home on the team bus on Friday night.  They’ll go again this Friday night when they travel to Deinze.

Notes

Chris Durkin came off the bench in the 68th minute for Sint Truiden but by then they had already surrendered a pair of goals to Seraing at the Stade du Pairay.  The 2-0 loss snaps the Canaries two game winning streak.  They’ll have a tough time of it this coming weekend when they host league leaders, Union St Gilloise.

In a Yank vs Yank battle that never happened, Mark McKenzie never left the bench, while Owen Otasowie never saw his name on the team sheet for the Genk vs Club Brugge clash.  The Belgian champions left it late, the 82nd minute to be exact, to find the game winner in this 3-2 thriller on the road.

Both teams will meet once again at the same place on Wednesday night when they look to knock each other out of the Belgian Cup competition in the Round of 16.  After that they both return to league action over the weekend with McKenzie’s team heading to Mechelen and Club hosting Seraing.

By Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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