Sam Vines

It wasn’t back to business as usual after the international as Royal Antwerp fell to Kortrijk on the road on Sunday afternoon, registering their first loss of the season.

Kortrijk 2 – 1 Antwerp

Sam Vines played 77 minutes but it was not the game he and Antwerp expected as they finally tasted defeat for the first time this season after going nine games undefeated. Felipe Avenatti struck first for the Kerels and then Faiz Selemani doubled the lead before the intermission. The Great Old were showing their age and only managed a consolation late in the game from the penalty spot.

The first goal really had to sting the visitors because it was a pair of their former players who were not deemed good enough that did the damage. Lamkel Zé found Avenatti, who scored in the 21st minute. Their French striker then found the back of the net for the third time this season. It seemed quite ironic that Kortrijk has struggled to find goals at their Guldensporen Stadium as of late, where they had not scored any until these two against the undefeated league leaders who had only given up six in the league so far this season before this defeat.

Vincent Janssen’s sixth of the season came from the charity spot in the 92nd minute but was obviously too little, too late. Coach Mark van Bommel’s job is to get his team back on track in their next game where they will host Sint-Truiden on Sunday night.

Westerlo 2 – 0 Zulte-Waregem

Bryan Reynolds seems to have cemented his place in the Westerlo starting line-up, as he started his fourth consecutive game in his defensive position, while helping his Turkish international goalkeeper, Sinan Bolat keep a clean sheet in this 2-0 victory.  Griffin Yow did not make the bench however.

The goals came very early in the first half and then even earlier after the intermission.  Belgian international Nacer Chadli struck after just nine minutes.  The game was put to bed just two minutes after the intermission, thanks to Lyle Foster.

The first goal was too easy for the hosts.  The ball was played into the box from 25 yards out by Muhammed Gümüskaya  who found the head of fellow Turk, Halil Akbunar, who flicked it forward for on-loan from İstanbul Başakşehir winger Chadli to nod home inside the near post.  This was the 66th capped Belgian’s first Westerlo goal as he tries to convince Belgian coach Roberto Martinez to take him to Qatar next month.  He would have had his second just two minutes later if it wasn’t for the heroics of Waregem’s ageless keeper, Sammy Bossut.

When the second half started, Lyle Foster was celebrating his third goal of the season just two minutes later.  The South African nodded Nicolas Madsen’s cross into the back of the net to put the game to bed. 

The top flight newcomers dominated possession but were second best when it came to shots and corner kicks.  Its goals that matter though and the two scored have moved Westerlo into the top half of the standings.  They’ll look to move up even further when they take on the mammoth task of going up against Club Brugge on the road.

Oostende 1 – 2 Genk

Genk made the long trip to the Belgian coast to take on the Seasiders and were happy to take the bus back to Limburg with three points in the bag after falling behind in just the third minute.  Mark McKenzie started and went the distance for the Smurfs.

It was another game where a quick goal was scored, this one by Fraser Hornby for the home team.  The product of Everton’s academy took advantage of McKenzie’s jetlag after coming back from international duty (although just a few hours flight when he got the better of the American and then beat Maarten Vandevoordt between the sticks three minutes into the game. 

Things were squared up however in the 25th minute when Nigerian giant Paul Onuachu, who was a prolific goal-getter for Genk over the past couple of seasons, finally scored his first one of the season to open his account.  This equalizer came after Mike Tresor blew it from the penalty spot in the eighth minute.

After their shaky start, the Smurfs dominated the game with 68% of possession and six corners to two.  The biggest moment however was just two minutes from the final whistle when Daniel Muñoz headed Andras Nemeth’s  corner in from close range for his second strike of the season.

Up next for McKenzie and Genk will be a Saturday afternoon visit from KV Kortrijk.   

Notes

Mauricio Cuevas got a rare start for Club NXT, as Club Brugge’s reserve team battled it out for a 3-3 share of the points with Excelsior Virton in the province of Luxembourg.  The 19-year-old Los Angelinos played the full 90 minutes at the right back position.

KV Mechelen travelled to the Venice of the North and were soundly defeated by Club Brugge by three goals to none.  Jorge Hernandez never got off the bench for the Kakkers.  The 21-year-old midfielder has come off the bench seven times for his team but playing very few minutes.  Next up will be a Sunday afternoon matinee when they host a struggling Anderlecht team.

Tyler Wolff made his Belgian debut for SK Beveren  when he came on in the 70th minute against Lierse.  Eighteen-year-old Moses Nyeman, formerly of DC United was named to the bench for the 5-0 thrashing of their visitors but did not make it onto the field.  Both Yanks will hope to take to the field next time out when Beveren travels to Dender.

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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