While Bryan Reynolds’ team picked up all the points, Mark McKenzie and Marlon Fossey had to share with their opponents in weekend Pro League action.
Oostende 1 – 2 Westerlo
Bryan Reynolds and Westerlo probably wish that there was no international break coming up as they’ve been on a roll, collecting 12 of 15 points, including this thriller on the coast where they came away with the win in the 92nd minute.
The American went the distance and assisted on Kyan Vaesen’s early strike. Lukas Van Eenoo got the glory however with his last minute gasp.
The hosts, who started the day out in the relegation zone, knew that they had to get something out of this game as they fight for their Pro League lives. And they set out to do just that.
However, on their first break, Westerlo came down the field, and when Reynolds had the ball at his feet, he spotted Vaesen and put the ball on his head, then watched the Belgian front-man nod it past Guillaume Hubert in the Kustboys goal. The go-ahead goal came after just 11 minutes.
Former Arsenal youth Zechariah Medley was spared blushes later in the half when he handled the ball in the box but got to see Maxim De Cuyper not take advantage of doubling Westerlo’s lead from the penalty spot.
The half ended and the second half started with KVO still looking to get something on the board. Their tenacity eventually paid off in the 81st minute when Westerlo just couldn’t clear their area and Irishman Cameron McGeehan headed into in from close range.
But the point disappeared in stoppage time when Van Eenoo’s shot found the back of the net, breaking the hearts of KVO’s fans.
Westerlo are now just a point behind fourth place Club Brugge, who lost to Kortrijk on Saturday night. They’ll host Sporting Charleroi on April 1st and hopefully moved into the top play-off group.
Cercle Brugge 1 – 1 Genk
The Smurfs are still struggling to find a victory after coming up short in their last three outings where they collected two out of a possible nine points. This time out they had to come from behind to rescue a point, thanks to Joseph Paintsil’s second half strike.
Mark McKenzie started and finished the game in Brugge, playing his 26th game of the season before catching a plane to the states to join up with the USMNT.
Cercle took the lead five minutes before the intermission, courtesy of Japanese international Ayase Ueda but Genk struck back soon after the re-start with Joseph Paintsil’s 12the of the season.
The visitors started the second half with gusto and got their reward early on when the Ghanaian sprinted into Cercle’s 18 yard box, showed a bit of fancy foot work and then coolly rolled the ball into the goal.
Genk’s dominance last for a while but being turned away from goal twice, they eventually lost momentum and the hosts took over. Ueda could have scored again but after beating his defender, he dragged his shot wide.
Cercle had 11 shots with three on target while Genk only managed five total.
Dropping two more points means that USG are only three behind them for the top spot with just four games left in the regular season. After McKenzie gets back, Genk will host OH Leuven, who are fighting for a spot in the European play-off group.
Standard Liege 2 – 2 Zulte Waregem
When Zulte Waregem came to the Sclessin, Standard started off strongly and had a two goal lead by half time but were unable to get the job done, letting Essevee back into the game and blowing two points.
Marlon Fossey not only played the full 90 minutes but also chipped in by scoring the game’s first goal. Noe Dussenne scored the second but in the second half things changed in favor of the visitors with them striking twice in the second part of the second half.
The American scored a decent goal but it paled in comparison to his celebration, where he did five, six, seven back flips that thrilled the home crowd.
Six minutes before the intermission les Rouches had a corner kick that Aron Dønnum sent into the box and watched an unmarked Dussenne head it into the back of the net.
Things were going according to plan deep into the second half but in the 76th minute Alieu Fadera clawed one back for Essevee. This goal also came from a corner kick that Christian Brüls delivered and the Senegalese managed to get it over the head of the keeper.
Five minutes before full time Standard shot themselves in their collective feet when their offsides trap failed miserably and Alioune Ndour found himself one on one with the keeper and easily slotted the ball past Arnaud Bodart.
Now in seventh place, les Rouches are just five points from the coveted fourth spot. Up next will be a trip to the seaside to take on KV Oostende.
After a long injury break, Sam Vines was named to the Antwerp bench but didn’t make it onto the field as the Great Old lost a close one, 1-0 to Sporting Charleroi. Still hanging onto third place, they’ll travel to relegation threatened Zulte-Waregem after the break.
Jorge Hernandez is still MIA for Mechelen again as they travelled to Brussels on Sunday night and lost a close one, 2-1 to Union Saint Gilloise. Safe from relegation and too far away to make the second play-off group, the Kakkers really have nothing to play for but will take on Club Brugge anyway in their next contest.