Kyle Duncan and Oostende lost at home, as did Sam Vines and Antwerp, while Mark McKenzie sat Genk’s win out as he recovers from jetlag.
Kortrijk 1 – 3 Sint-Truiden
Bryan Reynolds got his first start for Kortrijk while Chris Durkin served his suspension due to yellow card accumulation. See Michael Adubato’s Press Box Report for a rundown of the game.
KV Oostende 1 – 3 OH Leuven
Kyle Duncan went the distance for the Seasiders as they fell at home to 12th place Leuven at the Diaz Arena on Saturday night.
Levan Shengelia, Leuven’s striker from Georgia (the country, not the state) struck first in the first half, and Sory Kaba doubled the lead just after the re-start, a goal that turned out to be the game winner.
Leuven had the game’s first attempt but keeper Kjell Scherpen was quick to turn Xavier Mercier’s attempt away from his goal. This was followed up by a save from Mathieu Maertens’ effort.
Overall, however, there weren’t a lot of shots from either team, especially on goal. OHL had just five, and the three on-target actually found the back of the net. Their third came from Mousa Al-Tamari in the 85th minute. The Jordanian only came off the bench five minutes before hitting the back of the net.
Maxime D’Arpino scored for the hosts when they were down 2-0, in the 56th minute to narrow their deficit, but a half hour later Al-Tamari’s strike put this game to bed.
The Kustboys, as they’re known in Dutch, have been struggling lately where they have only picked up four out of the last possible 12 points.
With a few other teams, they’re dangerously close to the relegation zone so picking up three points as soon as possible is essential. They’ll hope to do just that over the weekend when they hit the highway to take on fellow strugglers, Zulte-Waregem.
Antwerp 0 – 2 Union St Gilloise
The Great Old hosted the Pro League frontrunners on Saturday night and allowed USG to leave with all three points after they were shutout by the Brussels-based team.
Sam Vines was called upon to join the defensive unit and put in a 90 minute shift in this losing effort.
Both sides put up quite a defensive fight where neither was able to get anything on the scoreboard in the first half. A ninth-minute strike from 25 yards out by Birger Verstraete was on target but not exactly a difficult shot for the USG keeper to handle.
The difference was after the intermission when Deniz Undav struck twice, with the first coming just five minutes after the restart. The final net bender came in the 77th minute from the German, who is on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion of the English Premier League.
The game was a big one in terms of the league standings with Antwerp breathing down the Unionists’ back, just seven points behind them. But the six-pointer game went in favor of the visitors who increased their lead over their second place rivals.
Antwerp is going to need points if they hope to stay as close as possible to USG before the playoffs roll around. They’ll head to Seraing, close to the city of Liege, on Friday night for their fixture against a struggling RFC Seraing where all the points should not be too difficult to achieve.
Club Brugge dropped down to third in the Pro League standings after coming out on the wrong end of the Battle of Flanders where Gent goals on either side of the half was enough for the Buffaloes to claim the 2-1 victory and all the points from their neighbors. As has been the case since he signed with Club in the summer, Owen Otasowie did not take part and was not even on the bench for the defending champions. Will he make an appearance on Sunday evening when Charleroi comes to town? We’ll let you know on Sunday.
Having just returned from USMNT duty, Mark McKenzie was not on the gameday roster when Genk hosted Zulte-Waregem on Sunday night and beat them 2-0. He should feature next time out though when the Smurfs head west to take on OH Leuven.
Jacob Montes never left the bench when Molenbeek visited Excelsior Virton and came away with a 1-0 victory, thus ensuring that they remain in touching distance with league leaders Westerlo. Second place Molenbeek is five points adrift and Westerlo also has two games in hand. The Crystal Palace loanee will hope to make his RWDM debut on Sunday afternoon at home.