Genk s Mark McKenzie celebrates after scoring during a soccer match between Royal Antwerp FC RAFC and KRC Genk, Sunday 07 May 2023 in Antwerp, on day 2 of the Champions play-offs in the Jupiler Pro League first division of the Belgian championship. VIRGINIExLEFOUR PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBELxFRAxNED x66874442x

Belgian Playoff Recap: Goal Machine McKenzie Scores Again

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With four of the six playoff games done and dusted in both the Championship and European groups, Mark McKenzie and Genk blew the chance to put pressure on the group leaders after a Sam Vines-less Royal Antwerp were beaten by Club Brugge.

Genk 1 – 1 Union St Gilloise

Mark McKenzie scored his third playoff goal in four games but it was not enough as the early lead was lost just before the intermission, giving both of these title chasing teams a single point.

The game’s first goal came from a Genk free kick that was about 35 yards from goal. Mike Tresor sent it into the 18 yard box and as the defensive line stood there ball watching, McKenzie sprang forward and nodded it into the back of the net from about six yards out. The ball hit the back of the net in the 13th minute.

Twenty-five minutes later however, Union got one back after Simon Adingra played the ball near the edge of the box for Victor Boniface to run onto. As he entered the box with the ball at his feet, the Nigerian put a move on McKenzie, then fired it just inside the near post, past netminder Maarten Vandevoordt.

The sharing of points leaves USG in second place, with Genk in third, just three points behind. The Smurfs have not given up their championship ambitions and will be at it again, looking for all the points this weekend when they travel to take on Club Brugge.

Notes

Bryan Reynolds and Griffin Yow‘s Westerlo hosted Marlon Fossey‘s Standard Liege on Saturday evening, however none were in the starting line-up. The AS Roma loanee came off the bench in the 83rd minute, while young Yow didn’t get onto the field until the 89th minute. Fossey on the other hand, didn’t even make the bench.

Westerlo won this one 3-0, leaving them equal on points with Standard. Neither team however have a chance of winning top of the group and making it into a European spot.

After taking charge of first place last week, Royal Antwerp, still without Sam Vines, suffered a shock defeat against Club Brugge. The defending champions, although destined to finish last in the group of four, still came away with the 2-0 victory.

Antwerp, although still in the top spot, are on 45 points along with USG. They do however have a superior goal difference. They will look to open up a lead when they host the Brussels based team on Sunday evening.

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author

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

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