Belgian Recap:  Duncan & Vines Win, Durkin & Reynolds Lose in Pro League Action

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Kyle Duncan was the only American starter over the weekend, but not the only one to register three points in weekend Belgian action.

Cercle Brugge 0 – 1 Oostende

KV Oostende made the relatively short trip to Brugge to take on the city’s second team, Cercle. The journey proved to be fruitful as the Seasiders got back on their bus after the game with all three points in the bag. 

Kyle Duncan started on the right wing and played 89 minutes in the victory.

In the eighth minute, Rabbi Matondo scored what looked like a very impressive goal for Cercle, but as the Welshman wheeled off to celebrate, he glanced to the sideline to see the linesman’s flag go up. 

Ten minutes before the half and down the other end, Nick Batzner was played through but his shot from 16 yards out was smothered by the Cercle keeper, Thomas Didillon.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, the hosts thought they would be awarded a penalty kick after Batzner handled the ball in the box. VAR was consulted and although the ball did make contact with the German’s arm, the referee denied the penalty.

Early in the second half, Matondo released a shot from about 20 yards out, top left of the box but Guillaume Hubert got down quickly enough to keep it from sneaking inside his near post. 

The breakthrough however came in the 76th minute from a dead ball situation. The Seasiders won a free kick 22 yard out in the center of the field. Frenchman Maxime D’Arpino lined it up and hit his shot hard and into the top left shelf. Didillon had no chance.

With three points, KVO find themselves in 13th place, one of three teams on 27 points. Next up will be a home game along the coast against OH Leuven.


Chris Durkin had to start on the bench as Sint-Truiden fought hard but couldn’t find the back of the net, and lost to a very early goal at the Stayen against Charleroi. The American came off the bench to start the second half but could not help his team get anything out of the game.  The 1-0 loss leaves the Canaries in 11th place, well away from the danger zone. Durkin and STVV will travel to Kortrijk to take on Bryan Reynolds over the weekend.

In his game, Reynolds didn’t get off the bench until the 80th minute when Kortrijk hosted the Belgian champions. Club Brugge, who travelled without Owen Otasowie, dominated both possession and shots but could only muster a single goal for the three points that keep them in second place in the league. Kortrijk will host Sam Vines and Royal Antwerp on Wednesday night, while Club travels to Gent the same night for a Belgian Cup clash.

Sam Vines started on the bench for Antwerp but made his entrance onto the field in the 55th minute, long after the game winner rippled the back of the net early in the first half. The 1-0 win over KAA Gent leaves them in third place, in pole position to claim a top playoff spot.

Jacob Montes stayed on the bench for the duration as Molenbeek hosted and beat Excel Mouscron 2-0 on Saturday night. Next up is a weekend trip to take on Oguchi Onyewu’s last place Excelsior Virton.


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, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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