Bryan Reynolds and Kortrijk’s playoff dreams ended over the weekend, while Chris Durkin and STVV are all but eliminated from making it into the post-season as well.

Kortrijk 2 – 3 USG

At home against the league leaders, the Kerels and Brian Reynolds could not hold onto their early lead as Deniz Undav scored the game winner for the Brussels team with just three minutes left on the clock to deny Kortrijk a much-needed three points. 

The American right back went the distance at the Guldensporen Stadium.

An eighth-minute goal by Faiz Selemani got the hosts off to an excellent start when, after some questionable Union defending and when they thought that they had things under control, the ball was gifted to the Comoros international inside the 18-yard box, and he happily slotted it into the back of the net.

Casper Nielsen pulled one back for the visitors just five minutes later in a play that started from a corner and ended with the Dane beating the KVK keeper from the top of the D. And that was how the half ended.

Another corner, this one in the 62nd minute, should have put the visitors ahead but Bart Nieuwkoop miraculously hit it over the crossbar from just a couple of yards in front of goal. 

It didn’t matter though because five minutes later Union was in the lead when, off a free-kick, Ismaël Kandouss was allowed to wander away from the pack and head, unchallenged, past Marko Ilić. Nielsen got credit for the assist.

Kortrijk fought back however, and when Selemani played a 1-2, he fooled a pair of defenders, got past them and slotted the ball just inside the far post for his 13th goal of the season and his second on the night in the 76th minute. 

With time running out however, the Brussels boys charged down the field and controlling with his chest, Undav turned his defender and from 20 yards out, and hit a wild curling shot that ended up in the top right hand corner of the goal.  The keeper could do nothing about this amazing strike.

The win keeps the visitors in the top spot, while Kortrijk ends up in 11th.  With just two games left to the season, their hopes of making the playoffs has ended and Reynolds will have a long summer break or an early return to Roma.

On Saturday Kortrijk will hit the road to take on Cercle Brugge.

Notes

Chris Durkin played 22 minutes off the bench for STVV in their 1-1 stalemate against KV Mechelen over the weekend. They still have an outside chance of making it to the final playoff spot in eighth place but the odds are against them. They will give it a go however when they make the short trip to Genk.

Of course Owen Otasowie was nowhere to be found when Club Brugge travelled east to take on struggling Seraing. Their struggles continued as well with Club pounding them 5-0. The win leaves them seven points behind USG with a game on the coast against Oostende on Saturday.

Sam Vines was not on the team sheet for the Antwerp derby when the Great Old welcomed Beerschot from across town. A Michael Frey brace was all the Royal ones needed to claim all three points against already relegated Beerschot. Vines will hope to get back into the action when they head south to take on fourth place Anderlecht.  A win will guarantee them a top four playoff place.

Anderlecht hosted KV Oostende who showed up at Lotto Park without Kyle Duncan. The Seasiders left a few hours later with no points in the bag after a 3-0 defeat. Up next for KVO will be a visit from Club Brugge in their penultimate game of the season. Currently in 14th place, they’re only playing for pride as a playoff place is impossible and they are well clear of the relegation play off. 

Jacob Montes is still waiting to get on the field for his new loanee team, Molenbeek.  He didn’t even make the bench when they travelled to Mouscron and came away with a narrow 1-0 win that keeps them in second place.  He’ll most likely not feature again when they play lowly Lommel.

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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