Most of the Americans in Belgium saw game time with their respective teams with mixed fortunes over the weekend.

Sint Truiden 1 – 2 Union St. Gilloise

On Friday night at the Stayen, Chris Durkin started for the Canaries and put in an 82 minute shift.  Although they put up a good fight, they lost a close one to the league leaders from Brussels.  Goals came on both sides of the intermission; Deniz Undav scored in the first half, while Christian Bruls equalized for the hosts before the German completed his brace with the game winner. 

Both teams cancelled each other out in the first half but a STVV mistake was all the visitors needed to take advantage and take the lead.  Dante Vanzeir’s cross found Undav and he found the back of the net in the 32nd minue.

The Canaries fought to get back into the game and after a half chance, Bruls shot from downtown and watched the ball find the target in the 63rd minute.  Ten minutes later however the game winner came from a corner kick that found Undav’s head as he nodded his 16th goal of the season past Daniel Schmidt.

Sint Truiden will stay at home again over the weekend when they welcome Cercle Brugge.

Beerschot 0 – 1 Antwerp

It was a good derby day for Sam Vines and Royal Antwerp as they came away with a hard fought victory over the other team from the city of Antwerp.  The American defender played the entire game, helping Jean Butez keep a clean sheet.  The game’s only goal came from former Belgian international, Radja Nainggolan.

The game started with the visitors from Deurne Noord attacking first although a tame header from Engels came to nothing.  Michael Frey also had a sniff at goal soon afterwards.  At the other end howeverMoises Caicedo would have scored if not for Butez’ fine save.  The first half ended all square.

The scoring at the Olympic Stadium came soon after the restart, the 59th minute to be exact.  Nainggolan picked out Frey at the far post but his attempt was saved by Mike Vanhamel.  The former Inter and Roma midfielder however hit his shot right into the far corner of the net to seal the victory with the winning goal.

Beerschot could have nicked a point however when Raphael Holzhauser found himself one-on-one with Butez, but his fierce shot beat the keeper but not the post. 

The three points put Antwerp in second place, only ahead of Club Brugge on goal difference and four points behind USG.  They’ll host Olympiakos on Thursday night in Europa League action before returning to the Pro League with a visit from Standard Liege.  

Waasland Beveren 2 – 3 Molenbeek

It wasn’t a good Saturday night for WB after they gave up an early goal, were the recipients of an own goal but still handed all the points to the visitors to Brussel; however on a good note American Joe Efford started the game and scored in the second half.  He also played the full 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card.  Jacob Montes, on the other hand, came off the bench to put in a seven minute shift.

Florian Le Joncour put Molenbeek ahead after just nine minutes.  Kevin Mata doubled the lead in the 36th minute but then six minutes later, Abdoul Dante gifted the hosts a lifeline.  The Mali defender did redeem himself however because he scored in the proper net shortly after the restart.

Efford’s goal came in the 66th minute.  It was only his second of the season and was not enough to give his team any points.  He will go at it again, as will Waasland-Beveren when they host Deinze on Sunday afternoon.

Notes

Club Brugge came away with a 3-2 win over Seraing and of course Owen Otasowie was nowhere to be found.  Next up, Club will travel to take on PSG in the Champions League before hosting Zulte Waregem.  Don’t expect Otasowie to be at either game however.

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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