Griffin Yow
Michael Adubato/Yanks Abroad

Belgian Recap: Yow Rescues a Point with Stoppage Time Goal

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Not a bad weekend overall for the Belgian Yanks as Griffin Yow found the back of the net, Marlon Fossey assisted on a goal and Mark McKenzie helped his keeper to a clean sheet and a 4-0 victory in weekend Pro League action.

Molenbeek 1 – 1 Westerlo

Bryan Reynolds was absent from the starting line-up and also the Westerlo bench. Griffin Yow was there however and entered the game in the 73rd minute, his first game of the season. Twenty minutes later he was celebrating his first professional goal in Belgium.

The game was very evenly matched over the 90 minutes with Molenbeek dominating possession, with 57 percent of the ball while Westerlo got off nine shots, to the host’s eight. But what counts are goals and RWDM scored first. It was Florent da Silva who got off a shot just inside the box that should have been an easy save by Sinan Bolat but the former Turkish international keeper made a mess of it and let it kiss the back of his net in the 65th minute.

But with the game into added time, the Molenbeek faithful were already celebrating their win until Yow silenced the Edmond Machtens Stadium.  Thomas Van den Keybus played a quick ball down the field when he saw his American colleague making a run. The former DC United man outpaced a pair of would-be defenders and got his left-footed shot off and inside the far post before he was closed down.

The point however leaves the Yellow and Blues in last place after Kortrijk stole a victory from Club Brugge. The next game will be a tough one with league leaders USG coming to town for a Friday night clash.

Genk 4 – 0 Mechelen

Mark McKenzie went the distance on Sunday afternoon and picked up a yellow card as the Smurfs welcomed KV Mechelen to Limburg and soundly beat them by four goals to nil. The American defender also picked up an assist for Bryan Heynen’s first-half strike.

The net-bending got underway after just 16 minutes when Christopher Bonsu Baah scored after Andi Zeqiri’s shot from the left was pushed away by the Mechelen keeper, but only as far as the Ghana striker who buried it from close range. Bryan Heynen was responsible for the second goal but his American colleague also had a hand in it. Bilal El Khannouss’ free kick from 30 yards out found McKenzie in the box, who headed it across the goal to his captain, who squeezed it past the keeper.

The two first-half goals were enough to secure the three points but the Smurfs were not yet finished and got back to business after the intermission. El Khannouss made it 3-0 in the 75th minute and second-half substitute Anouar Ait El Hadj scored his first senior goal in just his second appearance in the 91st minute.

Genk now sits in fifth place and will just have time to prepare for their European adventure as they face Henry Wingo and Ferencvaros on Thursday night in a European Conference League contest. Sunday will see them back in league action when they head to Kortrijk on Sunday night.

Standard Liege 3 – 2 Anderlecht

Marlon Fossey put in an 80-minute shift in this thriller at Sclessin where Standard Liege fought back from a two-goal deficit in the first half to come away with the victory thanks to a trio of goals from three different players. Fossey assisted on the second strike.

Anderlecht, who were on a three-game winning streak, started as if they would stretch that to four when they took the lead after just 18 minutes. Kasper Dolberg was left standing all alone at the far post after Thorgan Hazard put in his cross from the right wing. The Danish attacker easily redirected it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.

Things got worse for the hosts when just six minutes later they found themselves down by two after a bit of pinball action in their defensive area where another Dane, Anders Dreyer was finally able to put it away.

As it’s often said, soccer is a game of two halves and if the first half belonged to the visitors, then the second half was certainly the hosts.

Seven minutes after the re-start, les Rouches got one back. Steven Alzate got two chances to score just five yards out. He was successful the second time. Fast forward three more minutes and the game is all tied up. Fossey raced down the right wing with the ball at his feet, played a 1-2 with Kamal Sowah, and then picked out Hayao Kawabe on the edge of the 18-yard box. The man from Japan turned, took a touch, and fired it past Kasper Schmeichel between the Anderlecht posts.

The final blow came just after the hour mark when Nathan Ngoy celebrated his first goal of the season. Again Fossey put a cross into the box that was poorly cleared and fell to the Belgian defender who hit it hard and true, and into the back of the net for the eventual game-winner.

The win extends Standard’s unbeaten run to eight games as they now sit in eighth place before heading to third place Gent for a Sunday evening encounter.

Union St Gilloise 4 – 1 Eupen

It was another rough night between the sticks for Gabriel Slonina when his Eupen side traveled to Brussels to take on the league leaders late Friday. The Chelsea loanee had to pick the ball out of the back of his net on four occasions; something that has become a habit since his arrival in Belgium. In the last five games, 16 goals have crossed his goal line.

The first one of the night, which was scored in the 27th minute, came down to unbelievably poor defending. Håkan Nilsson nodded it in from just a few feet in front of goal. The second could be attributed to not closing down the attacker and lazy defending by Guolaugur Palsson who allowed Mathias Rasmussen to score his first goal of the season. It came four minutes after the first one.

The second half was pretty much like the first. Twenty-three minutes after the intermission it was 3-0. Mohammed Amoura was played through and slotted it past Slonina just inside the box.

The Pandas did still have a bit of life in them though and in the 81st minute, from a corner kick, Palsson jumped higher than his marker and got one back for his team. From the ensuing kick-off, however, the defense was caught napping and Elton Kabangu was celebrating his 82nd-minute strike.

Ironically not in last place but two spots away, Eupen will host Sporting Charleroi on Saturday evening. The Zebras hold down the ninth spot.


Kahveh Zahiroleslam started on the bench when Leuven hosted Sint Truiden on Sunday night. He got onto the field in the 77th minute when the Canaries were already down 3-0. The final score was 4-0 and now leaves the Flemish team in tenth place. Up next is a visit from Molenbeek, which is one place above them.

Alex Mighten watched from the bench as his Kortrijk side upset Club Brugge by a score of 1-0 at the Guldensporen Stadion on Saturday night. The Anglo-American will hope to see some action on Sunday evening when Genk comes to town.

Still missing through injury, Sam Vines missed Antwerp’s road trip to Wallonia. And it wasn’t a good night for the Belgian champions as they fell 3-2 to Sporting Charleroi by conceding an 88th-minute penalty. Up next for the Great Old is Champions League action where they’ll host Portugal’s FC Porto on Wednesday evening. They will return to league action on Sunday as they travel to take on Club Brugge.

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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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