Belgian Recap: The Gap Narrows as USG Defeats McKenzie’s Genk

Mark McKenzie

photo: Imago / Johan Eyckens

Mark McKenzie and Genk dropped some points while Bryan Reynolds and his Westerlo boys claimed all three in weekend Belgian Pro League action.

Genk 1 – 2 Union St Gilliose

Against second place USG, Genk blew their early lead and let the Brussel-based outfit score twice just before the intermission. Mark McKenzie put in an 87-minute shift for the Smurfs, coming off for Aziz Ouattara.

The hosts seemed to have everything under control after taking an early lead. Just inside the box Bryan Heynen looked to make a short pass to Daniel Munoz, but Siebe van der Heyden stuck his arm out and gave up the penalty.

Heynen put the ball on the spot and knocked it into the back of the net in the 24th minute. It was the Belgian midfielder’s ninth goal of the season.

Thinking that they were going to take a half time led into the locker room, the wheels fell of the Genk bus and in a matter of minutes, their one-nil lead turned into a 1-2 deficit. In the 42nd minute Simon Adingra sent in a ball from the left to the far post and watched Bart Nieuwkoop lose his marker and head it just inside the post from six yards out.

Two minutes later Maarten Vandevoordt was picking the ball out of the back of his net again. This time the goal-provider became goal-scorer when Victor Boniface struck a curler just past the Belgian keeper to put the Unionists ahead.

The loss for Genk leaves them just five points ahead of USG with just five regular season games remaining. Next up will be a trip to Brugge to take on eighth-place Cercle.

Club Brugge 2 – 0 Standard Liege

Marlon Fossey went the distance in Brugge, but his les Rouches came up short against the defending Belgian champions on Sunday afternoon.

Standard were undone by a pair of second half goals with the first one coming just after the hour mark.

Noah Lang’s free kick from 25 yards out was sent into the box and Ferran Jutglà got to it first, heading it home. The second goal belonged to Bjorn Meijer and also came from a free kick, this one the Dutchman sent over the wall and into the back of the net to secure the points.

Holding onto fourth place, Club will head south to take on Kortrijk.

Westerlo 3 – 1 Kortrijk

It was a good night for Bryan Reynolds and Westerlo as they made easy work on KV Kortrijk at Het Kuipje on Saturday night. The American went the distance but picked up a second-half yellow card in the victory.

The game looked to be scoreless at the half time break but in stoppage time, things changed. A 49th minute Westerlo corner was played into the box but before Kyan Vaesen could tuck it away, KVK’s Tsuyoshi Watanabe bumbled it across the goal line.

On the hour mark however the Belgian striker did score one for himself after Nene Dorgeles’ strike was batted away by the Kerels keeper. It fortuitously fell to his Belgian team mate who headed it into the open net. This was followed by his second score 13 minutes later after a pair of defensive errors.

The win keeps Westerlo in the hunt for a top four finish. They currently sit in sixth, four points adrift. Next time out they’ll head to the coast to take on KV Oostende.


Jorge Hernandez continues to be absent from the first team but Mechelen won anyway, beating the Canaries of Sint-Truiden by one goal to nil. The win leaves them in 13th place, not mathematically out of a European play-off spot but it’ll be a bit ask. They’ll look for another three when they head down to Brussels to take on Union St Gilloise.

Royal Antwerp, still without the injured Sam Vines, came away with a 2-0 victory against last place Seraing on Saturday night. Belgium’s oldest club are still holding down third place. After the international break they’ll host Sporting Charleroi.

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