Mark McKenzie finally got onto the field this season for Genk, while Owen Otasowie returned to the Club Brugge bench in weekend Pro League action.

Zulte-Waregem 1 – 4 Genk

Mark McKenzie finally got the nod and saw his first minutes for Genk this season as they hit the road and came away with all the points in this thriller where the fans enjoyed five goals fly into the back of the net. 

The American not only started but played the full 90 minutes for the Limburgers.  Bryan Heynen hit a first half brace, while Andras Nemeth also scored before the break and Daniel Munoz after.

The scoring got underway after just nine minutes and it was the Belgian midfielder who opened up his account for this season from the penalty spot after his Hungarian team mate, Nemeth, was brought down in the box by a clumsy Moudou Tambedou. 

Sixteen minutes later Genk doubled their lead as 19-year-old Nemeth scored his first of the season.  The headed goal came from just six yards out after Munoz picked out the youngster’s run.

Before the intermission however, in the 43rd minute, the hosts thought that they were back in the game when Jelle Vossen scored from roughly the same place as Nemeth, although he used his foot instead of his head. 

But order was restored just one minute later when Captain Heynen swiveled and turned his defender just inside the 18-yard box and beat the Waregem keeper just inside the near post.

With the game pretty much won, the visitors added another goal in the second half as Colombian defender found the back of the net for the first time this season, after assisting an earlier goal.  Though he didn’t get on the score sheet, McKenzie put in a strong performance as a central defender.

Up next for the Smurfs, who now sit in second place after four games, is a trip west to take on Cercle Brugge.

Eupen 0 – 1 Royal Antwerp

Royal Antwerp had to fight hard to stay perfect this season and in the end came away with a slim 1-0 victory against league strugglers AS Eupen on Sunday afternoon at am Kehrweg Stadium. 

Sam Vines continued in his starting defensive position a left back, having started all four league games this season. 

Although the undefeated league leaders dominated the game, with 64% of the ball, they managed just six shots on target, which was the same as their hosts. The only goal, where the Eupen players are probably still kicking themselves, came with just 12 minutes left on the clock.  The heartbreaker, however, for the home fans was that it was a very clumsy own goal.

When a cross was played into the box Boris Lambert tried to clear it outside the near post but he was unfortunate to instead put an unlucky ball past his own keeper, thus surrendering a point that the hosts felt they deserved.

The Great Old will hope to look more convincing when they face Gent but first up they have a pair of Europa Conference League games to contest against Istanbul Başakşehir with the first being on the road this Thursday in the Turkish capital.

Notes

Jorge Hernandez is slowing working his way into the Mechelen team, this time picking up four minutes playing time as the Flemish side fought Cercle Brugge for a point in their scoreless draw at the Jan Breydel Stadium.  Up next for the Kakkers is Sunday night clash against Westerlo.

Bryan Reynolds never left the Westerlo bench, which leads one to wonder why he left Roma to join the newly promoted Pro League team on loan. Griffin Yow didn’t make the bench although the youngster is most likely considered to be a player of the future and will spend time in the team’s reserves for the foreseeable future. At the end of the day, KVC came away with a 4-2 victory over visiting Standard Liege.

Owen Otasowie made the team sheet but saw no playing time as Club Brugge got back to winning ways after last week’s disappointing draw against Zulte-Waregem. The defending champions put three past OH Leuven on the road while keeping a clean sheet in the process. They’ll look to continue their winning streak they host the Kerels of Kortrijk on Sunday afternoon.

The Challenger Pro League, aka the second division, got their season underway over the weekend but Tyler Wolff never left the bench for his new team, Beveren after joining them from Atlanta United this summer. The young attacker will hope to see some action on Friday night when they travel to take on Standard Liege II.

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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