Bryan Reynolds and KV Kortrijk finally registered a win in their derby, while Mark McKenzie and Genk suffered defeat in Brussels against Anderlecht.

Kortrijk 5 – 0 Zulte-Waregem

Kortrijk’s local derby against Zulte-Waregem couldn’t have come at a better time as the Kerels were on a four-game losing streak and needed a big game to get their heads and their fans back into the game.

They did not disappoint at the Guldensporen Stadion, sending five past the Essevee keeper.

Bryan Reynolds finally tasted victory with his on-loan team as he went the distance in the right back position. The goals came from Trent Sainsbury (2), Faiz Selemani (2) and Muhammad Badamosi.

The atmosphere was electrifying as both teams went at it, as should be the case in a derby. Both had early sniffs at goal but it wasn’t until the 17th minute that the scoring got underway.

The hosts won a free kick that Selemani delivered into the box and right onto the head of his teammate from down under. Sainsbury easily nodded it past the Z-W keeper and sent the 80% capacity (under Belgian restrictions) crowd into a frenzy.

The visitors already had their hands full but things took a turn for the worse when Cameron Humphrey-Grant was shown his second yellow card for bringing down Billel Messaoudi in the middle of the park.

Now a man up, the Kerels got back to work and the Australian defender scored his second of the night just before the referee blew for the end of the first half. This time it was a tap-in from a corner kick at the far post.

The second half got underway and the scoring continued. This time it was the first of two goals for the Comoros international winger. (Comoros is an African archipelagic country in the Indian Ocean.) Selemani took the penalty kick after Ante Palaversa was brought down in the box, sending the keeper the wrong way.

A long ball played by Palaversa from deep in his own half caught the Essevee defenders napping as it dropped was played between them, right to Badamosi. The Gambian attacker raced down the field, put a move on Louis Bostyn in front of his goal and smacked it into the back of the net.

The final goal was started off by Kristof D’Haene, who ran up the left wing and looped his cross into the box. With two open Kerels there, it was Selemani who redirected in from close range.

With their first win of 2022, Reynolds and his team will hope to continue winning when they take on Mark McKenzie and Genk.

Anderlecht 2 – 0 Genk 

Mark McKenzie and Genk travelled to Brussels on Sunday afternoon to take on Vincent Kompany’s rejuvenated Andrelecht side at Lotto Park.  

The American started the game but did not come out for the second half, being replaced by Jhor Lucumi in the shutout. The goals came from Majeed Ashimeru and Yari Verschaeren, both late in the first half.   

The teams were pretty much on equal footing the first 20 minutes of the game, however neither team posed any threat to the men between the sticks. Soon afterwards, Paul Onuachu just could not get on the end of a Junya Ito cross, then Hrošovský had a good chance but put it over the crossbar. Bogonda was also guilty of missing the target minutes later.   

At the other end, the hosts were more clinical in their finishing. Christian Kouamé burst forward and as he was being pushed over, got his shot off from inside the D.  

Maarten Vandevoord came well off his line and parried the shot away. It made its way to his defender Daniel Munoz who headed it away but only to Ashimeru, who took a couple of touches to get around the keeper and bang it into the back of the net from six yards out. The strike came in the 36th minute. 

Five minutes later les Mauves doubled their lead. Josh Cullen sailed the ball into the box from 25 yards out and it found the head of Christian Kouamé. The Ivorian headed it to Verschaeren, who dinked it over the keeper from six-yards out.   

In the second half Genk picked up their game, but they let themselves down with crosses into the box that just were not accurate and so were easily cleared out of harm’s way. Kristian Thorstvedt thought he had gotten one back for the visitors but Onuachu fouled the Anderlecht keeper in the process, so it was disallowed.     

The loss leaves Genk in eighth place, although just a few points above Cercle Brugge in securing that last play-off place that could give them a place in European soccer next season. They will hope to take all the points on Sunday when old friends meet as Bryan Reynolds and Kortrijk head to Limburg. 

Oostende 1 – 0 Standard Liege 

The Seasiders came away with a big win in a hotly contested game on the Belgian coast on Saturday night, where all that separated the teams was Kenny Rocha Santos’ first goal of the season.  

Kyle Duncan got the starting nod and put in a 73-minute shift in this important team victory over a less than impressive Standard side.  

The hosts got off to a half decent start with a shout at goal just ten minutes in from Gueye’s effort, followed by a bullet by McGeehan that unfortunately ended up clearing the crossbar. 

The action remained in the middle of the park and in front of the visitor’s goal. Kjell Scherpen could have taken the night off since les Rouches kept their distance from his goal for most of the game.  

The KVO goal was a bit fortuitous and came just before the half-hour mark after Standard’s defenders had a slight misunderstanding. The man from the Cape Verde Islands did not care though and sent the ball into the back of Arnaud Bodart’s net. After going up, the attacking did not cease but the shots lacked conviction and direction. 

Standard had a good chance to get something out of the game in the second half but Mathieu Cafaro hit the post instead of the back of the net. This was pretty much their only threat; so Oostende was able to hold onto the lead and add three points to their season total.   

Chris Durkin and Sint-Truiden will be heading for the coast on Saturday evening to take on his fellow American and Oostende. 

Notes 

Sam Vines came off the bench in the 85th minute for Royal Antwerp but it was too little, too late as they had surrendered a pair of first half goals to neighbors KV Mechelen. The 2-1 loss puts the Great Old in third place, still on target to make the top play-off group. Next up is a big game when they travel to Brugge on Sunday afternoon to take on Club, who are one place and one point better off than the defending Belgian champions.   

Club Brugge travelled east to take on relegation-threatened Eupen and came away with a convincing 3-1 victory. Of course, Owen Otasowie was nowhere to be found in the German speaking Belgian town. Next up, Club hosts Antwerp. 

Chris Durkin came off the bench in the 74th minute when OH Leuven came to the Stayen and left with a 2-0 defeat. Taichi Hara scored in the first half and Daichi Hayashi bagged his fifth of the season deep in stoppage time. The Canaries will travel to the coast on Saturday evening to take on Kyle Duncan and KV Oostende.   

Jacob Montes was not on the team sheet when Molenbeek headed north to take on Waasland-Beveren and headed home with a 1-0 loss and no points. The loss means that W-B is only two points behind John Textor’s team in the race for second place and a play-off promotion spot.  They are eight points off the pace for the automatic promotion. 

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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