There wasn’t much playing time for the Yanks of Belgium, except for starters Sam Vines and Mark McKenzie, who both tasted victory over the weekend.

Seraing 0 – 4 Genk

Genk traveled across the Belgian linguistic border and gave their hosts lessons on how to play the beautiful game, putting four past the league’s cellar dwellers on Saturday night.

Mike Tresor registered goals before and after the intermission, while Joseph Paintsil scored the other.  Seraing did get in on the scoring too, but it was Christophe Lepoint who put it into the back of the wrong net.  Mark McKenzie put in a solid defensive show to help Maarten Vandevoordt keep a clean sheet.

Although dominating from the kick-off, it took the visitors a half hour before they were able to breach Seraing’s back line. After his free kick hit the post minutes earlier, Tresor scored his fourth goal of the season when he put a move on his defender and scored from outside the box.

The traveling fans had to wait almost another half hour to see the Smurfs ripple the Seraing net again. This time it was Paintsil who lit up the scoreboard after some sloppy defensive ball handling. Tresor took advantage of that and picked out his Ghana teammate who made no mistake. And then after a goal and an assist, the Belgian midfielder added another goal, his fifth of the season.

The final blow was Lepoint trying to cut out a cross into the box that he ended up putting past his own keeper.

Up next for the high-flying Smurfs is a visit from the Canaries of Sint-Truiden.

Gent 1 – 2 Antwerp

With Sam Vines starting and going the distance in his fifth consecutive game for Royal Antwerp, the Reds had to come from behind to secure the road win after Gent took a very early lead. 

The hosts were awarded a free kick just at the top of the box and to the left of the D.  Sven Kums placed the ball down and kicked it around a very ineffective five-man wall.  The ball went to the right side of the wall and Vines stuck out a leg, thereby deflecting it into the back of Jean Butez’s net after just 10 minutes.  Kums was credited with the goal, however.

The lead was short-lived however because five minutes later Davey Roef was picking the ball out of the Gent net.  Radja Nainggolan’s free-kick from the right of the box close to the touchline was sent into the danger zone and was headed a couple of times before Vincent Janssen tucked it away from a few yards out.   

All of the scoring was done in the first half and all of the goals came from set pieces.  Antwerp’s game-winner came from the penalty spot after Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe brought down Alhassan Yusuf just on the edge of the 18-yard box.  The foul looked to have been committed outside of the box but according to VAR, it was a penalty.  Michael Frey placed it on the spot and scored for the fourth time this season.

Belgium’s oldest team is currently in second place, equal on points with Genk, although they do have a game in hand.  Next up will be a difficult game when they welcome Union St-Gilloise to the Bosuil Stadium on Wednesday night.

Notes

Owen Otasowie didn’t even make the bench when Club Brugge traveled to Charleroi on Friday night and went home with all the points after defeating the Walloons by three goals to one.  Currently, in the third spot, Club will host Cercle Brugge on Friday night in the Brugge Derby.

Jorge Hernandez got to play nine minutes for KV Mechelen when they went up against Sint Truiden at the Stayen on Saturday evening.  By the time the American got onto the field, all the goals had already been scored.  STVV won this one by a 3-1 score line. KVM will host last-place Seraing as they try to better their 10th place position.

Westerlo gave up an 84th-minute goal to lose this home game against Eupen on Sunday night.  The 1-0 loss leaves the newly promoted side on six points after six games as they hold down the 12th spot in the Pro League standings.  They’ll look to add a few points on Sunday when they travel to take on Sam Vines and Royal Antwerp.

Tyler Wolff didn’t make the Beveren team sheet when they traveled to Brussels to take on the Anderlecht Reserves at the national stadium.  The game ended 2-2 and the penultimate team in the Challenge League standings will be looking to move up when they travel to Lommel on Sunday.

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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