Mark McKenzie
photo: Imago / Johan Eyckens

Belgian Recap: McKenzie, Genk Drop Points Again

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The league leaders dropped points but Marlon Fossey and Standard Liege had a very good weekend, netting four times and collecting three points in Pro League action.

Mechelen 2 – 2 Genk

After losing to Antwerp last week, Genk dropped two more points on the road against KV Mechelen on Friday night.

Mark McKenzie put in a full shift, however the Kakkers’ Jorge Hernandez did not make it onto the team sheet for the contest. The home team twice took the lead and twice lost it, the final time deep in stoppage time thanks to Bryan Heynan.

Geoffrey Hairemans put the hosts ahead after just 21 minutes. After Maarten Vandevoordt knocked away a shot from the right side of his box, it fell kindly for the Belgian midfielder, who blasted it into the goal mouth from six yards.

Ten minutes before the half, things were all square again. This time it was Mike Tresor who buried it in the back of the net after Emmanuel Arokodare spotted him on his own in the middle of the box. The Mechelen keeper reacted too slowly to keep it out.

The Mechelen fans had to wait a half hour after the intermission to celebrate again. Yonas Malede did all the hard work, putting a move on his marker on the right flank and storming into the box to pick out Nikola Storm, who only had to redirect the ball into the goal from a few yards out.

But it was Heynan who broke Mechelen hearts in the 94th minute when a free kick was cleared but only to Patrik Hrosovsky who sent it back into a crowded box. The Genk captain jumped the highest and earned his team a hard fought for point.

Having dropped five points in the last two games, Genk will hope that they can make easy work of relegation fodder KV Oostende on Saturday evening.

USG 2 – 4 Standard Liege

Les Rouches picked up three valuable points against a tough Union St Gilloise team as they continue their quest to get themselves up into the top play-off group before time and games run out. Marlon Fossey started again but this time was subbed off, although in the 91st minute.

The six goals came from six different players and at one point, three goals flew into the back of both nets in a five minute period.

William Balikwisha played a through ball into the box for Philip Zinckernagel, who faked a shot to force the keeper to react, then slotted home into the empty net. This 20th minute Liege lead was short lived however because two minutes later Yorbe Vertessen got the hosts on level terms. But that didn’t last long either. Steven Alzate scored his second of the season three minutes after that.

The half ended with Standard up 2-1 and it stayed that way until just after the hour mark when Victor Boniface tied it all up again.

The eventual game winner however came in the 85th minute. USG fought back but in the end committed too many players forward and paid the price, surrendering a 98th minute goal to leave the score very flattering for les Rouches, not really a true reflection of the overall play of their opponent.

Fossey and his club will be at it again on Saturday night when they head to Westerlo for a Yank vs Yank clash.

Sint-Truiden 0 – 1 Westerlo

Bryan Reynolds went the distance in defense for Westerlo and helped his keeper to a clean sheet as they narrowly picked up a road win again the Canaries of Sint-Truiden. The only goal came just before the half and from the penalty spot.

It was the American who gave his team the advantage after a clumsy 34th minute tackle from Aboubakary Koita. The referee consulted VAR, and after a very long time, returned to the field of play and flashed a straight red card at the Belgian.

Eventually the ball was put on the spot and Maxim De Cuyper blasted it into the back of the net for the 1-0 half time lead.

The second half was non-eventful but in the end Westerlo picked up the three points that moved them up to seventh place.

Just four points out of a top four finish, Westerlo has a half decent chance of getting into that top play-off group with just eight games remaining to the regular season.

Next up Westerlo will have its hands full when USG comes to town to avenge their recent defeat.


Still without Sam Vines, Royal Antwerp beat Eupen 2-0. Still in the third spot, the Great Old will head to Leuven over the weekend.


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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