Mark McKenzie
photo: Imago / Johan Eyckens

Belgian Recap: McKenzie, Genk Fall Against Vine-less Antwerp

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It wasn’t a great weekend for the Yanks of Belgium as none of three starters were able to register a victory. Bryan Reynolds and Westerlo, however did get one point in their tie with Gent.

Genk 0 – 1 Antwerp

Sam Vines will be hoping to make it back onto the field next month but for now, he could only watch from the stands as his Royal Antwerp came up with a second half goal to steal all the points from the league leaders. Mark McKenzie went the distance in a losing effort.

The game’s only goal was struck in the second half by newcomer Gyrano Kerk. The Dutch winger joined the Belgian outfit last month, although temporarily. He is on loan from his parent club, Lokomotiv Moscow until the summer. The goal came from the break, when the ball was played from deep inside the RAFC half and landed in the 18-yard box for the Dutchman to run onto and tuck away past Maarten Vandevoordt.

Captain Bryan Heynen had a couple of excellent chances, first in the first half, but was denied by a goal-line clearance just before the whistle. After going down a goal, he was again denied the equalizer late in the game but this time the cross bar was the hero.

Genk dominated but just couldn’t reap the benefits of their dominance, so will have to lick their wounds and get ready for 13th-place Mechelen, who they will play away on Friday night.

Standard Liege 0 – 2 Kortrijk

Marlon Fossey started for les Rouches and went the distance, however in a losing effort as SL dropped three valuable points that they sorely needed, as they look to make it into the championship play-off group with just nine league games remaining. Kortrijk, on the other hand, are fighting for their Pro League survival and celebrated with their fans after the victory.

The goals came from 18 year-old defender Martin Wasinski and then Faiz Selemani from the penalty spot, and also from a country that not many have ever heard of – Comoros. All that les Rouches could contribute was a red card from Konstantinos Laifas.

After a few passes around the Standard 18 yard box, the ball was poorly cleared and ended up just inside the D where the Belgian teenager hit it first time and sent it into the far corner to score his first goal of the season. The goal came in the 67th minute.

The final nail in the Walloon team’s coffin came just 17 minutes later. The PK was a byproduct of Laifas’ red card. The Cypriot defender was given his marching orders for grabbing a handful of Selemani’s shirt as he went to shoot from eight yards out.

The ref initially said nothing but was called to the VAR and then showed the card. The French-born attacker placed the ball on the spot and sent it right down the middle for his seventh league goal of the season. 2-0 and game over.

Up next for SL will be a Saturday night trip to Brussels to take on second place USG.

Westerlo 3 – 3 Gent

Bryan Reynolds put in an 88-minute shift in this goalfest that entertained the fans with a half dozen net benders, and both teams taking a point for their troubles. The six came from five different goal scorers, with Gift Orban registering a brace and his first two goals for his new team, Gent, having just joined them from Stabaek in the winter transfer window.

Gent struck first in the 14th minute and it was from the spot after a foul in the Westerlo box. Hugo Cuypers did the honors. Two minutes later however Maxim De Cuypers had a bit of luck on his side. Paul Nardi swatted away a closer header but it fell to the Belgian who tapped it in from a yard or two.

The lead was restored on the half hour mark by the Nigerian newomer for his first of the night. Belgian international Nacer Chadli tied it all up again five minutes later when a ball came in from the right flank and hit the far post. He was on hand to push it into the back of the net. And that’s how it stayed until the intermission.

For the first time in the game, Westerlo took the lead minutes after the restart. After some very horrible defending where three players couldn’t get the ball out of their box, Lukas van Eenoo found it at his feet and put it past the keeper. Orban then grabbed his second in the 66th minute and taht was all she wrote.

Up next for Westerlo, who sit in seventh, is a trip to take on the Canaries of Sint-Truiden.


Jorge Hernandez didn’t make the team sheet as his KV Mechelen fell to Eupen over the weekend, 2-1. The Kakkers find themselves in 13th place, stuck between the Euro play-off group and the relegation zone. Next up they’ll have their hands full when they host first place Mark McKenzie and Genk.

Mauricio Cuevas got to play nine minutes as his Club Brugge Reserves played the Standard Liege Reserves to a scoreless draw. Now in fifth place in the Challenger League and having played their regular season 22 games, they will compete in the top play-off promotion group. They cannot however be promoted since the senior club plays in the Pro League.

Evan Rotundo came on in the 89th minute for Genk Reserves in the 1-0 victory over Excelsior Virton. They have just one game left, which will be against the Standard Liege Reserves on Sunday afternoon, before the play-offs begin.


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, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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