Belgian Playoff Recap: Antwerp Leads Pack at Halfway Point

Virginie Lefour/Belga/Imago

After hitting the playoffs halfway mark, the title is still wide open, though Antwerp has taken over the top spot in Pro League action.

Standard Liege 2-2 Westerlo

After leading the game very early on, Standard Liege choked in stoppage time as they saw their two-goal lead disappear with a pair of Westerlo goals scored after 90 minutes had elapsed. Marlon Fossey started for les Rouches but both Brian Reynolds and Griffin Yow were on the bench for the opposition. The latter did come on in the 87th minute while Reynolds played no part. Fossey was subbed out at the beginning of the second half.

The scoring got underway in just the ninth minute when Philip Zinckeragel scored his 10th league goal for the very early lead. When the Dane put the ball into the back of the net, the linesman immediately threw his flag up to say, nope, no goal. The video assistant referee was on hand however to let him know that he was not really paying proper attention and allowed the goal.

Although Westerlo showed signs of getting something on the scoreboard throughout the game, what should have been the death blow was struck in the 77th minute by substitute Renaud Emond.

Falling behind by a pair of goals so late did not give the visitors a reason to stop playing. It had the opposite effect. Two minutes later De Cuyper hit the post, missing the target by inches. A minute later, Yow came onto the field and soon joined the attack. He too was a bit unlucky as his strike also struck the post.

With the fourth official showing five minutes of stoppage time to be played, Westerlo got to work. Edison Jordanov almost hit the post but his shot managed to just make it into the back of the net in the 91st minute. Then in the 96th minute, the comeback was complete thanks to Thomas van den Keybus.

Ten points behind first-place Gent with only nine points left to play for, Westerlo’s European dream is officially over. They will go at it again, however, this coming weekend when they play Standard at home.

Union Saint Gilloise 3-0 Genk

It was a disastrous evening for Mark McKenzie and Genk. After leading the title race a couple of weeks ago, they tasted defeat again and have seen their title dreams take a heavy blow at the hand of USG. The American defender went the distance in his center-back position and picked up a yellow card. English defender Chris Burgess was the hero as he scored twice for the Brussels club.

The first goal came in the 12th minute as Union won a corner that was sent into the box by Teddy Teuma. The Brit was the first to the ball and nodded it home. The second one came in the middle of the second half, this time from the penalty spot by Teuma. He then picked up his second assist of the evening with another corner kick that worked out the same way as the first one — right to the Englishman’s head.

The win puts USG back into the title race with Antwerp on 45 points, Union on 44, and Genk on 41 with three games remaining.

The teams will face each other again over the weekend but this time in Limburg.


Sam Vines was still missing as Royal Antwerp scored a stoppage-time winner to take over the top spot in the title race. They beat Club Brugge 3-2. These teams will face each other again next time out.

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