Kyle Duncan received his Belgian baptism against Same Vines’ Antwerp, while Chris Durkin came off the bench to provide an assist in weekend Belgian action.

Oostende 1 – 2 Antwerp

Kyle Duncan was thrown directly into the action as he made his debut for KV Oostende on Friday night, but it was in a losing effort as the Seasiders blew their lead and allowed the Great Old to take all three points. 

Sam Vines stayed rooted to the bench for the visitors.

Scoring came first from Zechariah Medley soon after the break, before Michael Frey and Michel-Ange Balikwisha hit the back of the net.

The first half produced chances for both sides but neither were able to break the deadlock until after the intermission. Frey thought he scored just before the teams headed to the locker rooms but the linesman’s flag denied him his 18th goal of the season, though it would come later. 

Oostende was also denied a first half opener when VAR was called into action.

The breakthrough came in the 48th minute when, from a corner, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto received the short pass, turned his defender and charged into the box. He spotted his English team mate among a crowd of Antwerpers and the pass was spot on for the former Arsenal academy player to beat Jean Butez between the sticks.

The lead was short lived however because when the clock struck one hour, Frey was celebrating with his team mates. Radja Nainggolan obviously couldn’t believe his luck when he saw Frey standing all alone inside the box, so he made the short pass and the Swiss miss-ter turned and slotted it just inside the far post from six yards out.

Ten minutes later Balikwisha struck the game winner into the back of the net when Antwerp’s Japanese midfielder Koji Miyoshi stormed up the right flank and pulled the ball back for his Belgian colleague, who easily scored his second goal of the season.

The victory keeps Belgium’s oldest team in contention for a top play-off spot while Oostende fail to lift themselves further away from the relegation zone. They are however on 23 points, four better than 17th place Seraing.

With midweek games being played in Belgium, Oostende will travel to Gent on Tuesday night, while Antwerp hosts Chris Durkin and Sint-Truden.

USG 2 – 1 Genk

See Michael Adubato’s Press Box Report for coverage of this game.

Notes

Chris Durkin came off the bench in the second half on Saturday night and provided an assist as Sint-Truiden beat up on struggling Seraing by a 3-1 scoreline. Having already been ahead 2-1 when the American came onto the field, he provided the 94th-minute nail in the coffin for Taichi Hara’s fourth netbender of the season. Durkin and company will be up in Antwerp on Tuesday night to take on Sam Vines’ side.

New owner John Textor was at the Molenbeek vs Lommel game on Friday night, as was Jacob Montes, but the young American never got off the bench as the Brussels-based club picked up all the points in the 2-0 victory, restarting Belgian second division after the holiday break. Molenbeek will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host Westerlo as they look for their fifth straight win.

Bryan Reynolds was not available for Kortrijk’s 1-1 draw against Eupen on Saturday evening as it took until Sunday to complete his loan deal from AS Roma. The American will hope to be among the action when KVK travels to Charleroi on Tuesday night.

Owen Otasowie didn’t make the bench for Club Brugge’s trip to take on Standard Liege. The Belgian champions were a goal down on two occasions but fought back to claim a point in this game that ended 2-2. Wednesday night they’ll host first place Union St Gilloise and hope to close the nine point gap that exists between the two teams.

Joe Efford was not on the team sheet when Waasland-Beveren traveled to the Ardennes to take on struggling Excelsior. They certainly took advantage of the team that has been out of form by putting four past their goalkeeper to register a 4-1 victory and keep themselves in second place, which is a playoff spot for promotion to the Pro League. They will however look to make headway on taking over the top spot and automatic promotion on Sunday when they go up against league leaders Westerlo.  The teams are currently separated by just seven points.

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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