Mark McKenzie
photo: Imago / Johan Eyckens

Belgian Cup Recap: McKenzie, Genk Easily Win, While Zahiroleslam Scores his First Belgian Goal

5 minutes, 26 seconds Read

It was a crazy cup round as Alex Mighten finally started but he and Kortrijk got kicked out of the competition, while Zahiroleslam continues to pick up minutes and even score a goal.

Vise 0 – 4 Genk

After a road win against Kortrijk over the weekend, Mark McKenzie and Genk continued their winning ways, this time in their Cup game against fourth division URSL Vise. The American helped his keeper to a clean sheet in this game that saw four different Smurfs score for the Pro League side.

The game was never meant to be a difficult one against the team that plays three division lower. It did however take the visitors 17 minutes before finding the back of the net, courtesy of Yira Sor. After that, the minnows held their own and even threatened but at the intermission there was just the solitary goal lead.

Things improved drastically and quickly in the second half. Aziz Ouattara doubled the lead after just six minutes. In the 83rd minute it was 3-0, thanks to Andi Zeqiri and then the icing on the cake in stopage time to round off the scoring. Bonsu Baah slid that one into the bottom right hand corner.

The win puts the Smurfs into the round of 16 but before then they’ll take on Antwerp this weekend in Pro League action.

Sint-Truiden 3 – 0 Francs Borains

If the Canaries thought they would have an easy night against second division Francs Borains in their Cup clash, then they were sorely mistaken as they were shut out in the 90 minutes and had to go into extra time in order to claim a spot in the next round.

Kahveh Zahiroleslam saw lots of playing time in this game that ended 0-0 and thereby had 30 minutes added in order to determine which team would make it into the next round. And it was the former Yale Bulldog who contributed with a 95th minute goal, which turned out to be the game winner.

The goal took the wind out of the Walloons’ sail and in the 111th minute Shinji Okazaki scored, followed 11 minutes later by Jarne Steuckers from the penalty spot.

The Canaries will put thoughts of the cup to one side for now and focus on this weekend where they will welcome Eupen and Gabriel Slonina to the Stayen on Friday night. Both teams are coming off Pro League victories and will hope to do the same when they meet up for this night fixture.

Eupen 0 – 2 Oostende

Gabriel Slonina got the nod for this cup game against KV Oostende, who were relegated from the top flight at the end of last season. It was a game that the Pandas should have won for a few reasons but at the end of the night, the Seasiders scored twice and their hosts were kept out of the net as they will now sail into the next Belgian Cup round.

The first goal came after just five minutes when, on their first attack, Daniel Perez headed in a cross from the left flank. Five minutes later the post saved Oostende from surrendering their lead.

The game was put to bed in the 76th minute when Mo Berte, who had been terrorizing the Eupen back line all night, got his deserved goal.

As mentioned above, Eupen will take on Sint Truiden on Friday night.

Dender 1(4) – 1(5) Kortrijk

Alex Mighten got the nod for his first start for Kortrijk when they headed to Dender for their Belgian Cup adventure against second division opposition. Coached by former Belgian international Timmy Simmons, Dender made a good show of themselves.

Kortrijk had most of the possession in the early minutes as the hosts sat back to assess the situation but after a sloppy defensive pass, Jordy Soladio pounced and struck the ball well but it hit the post. Fortunately Nicolas Raisel was on hand to tap it into an empty net to take the lead.

The Kerels felt the urgency to get back into the game and in the 26th minute got the opportunity from the penalty spot, with defender Joedrick Pupe being the guilty party. Abdelkahar Kadri put the ball on the spot and sent the keeper the wrong way. One all.

Just ten minutes later the visitors were handed a man up when Dender defender Keres Masangu made a terrible tackle on Kadri. Both times he was shown yellow and of course two yellows equals one red. But even a man up for more than half the game, the Pro League side could not take advantage. Even with another 30 minutes added to the game, they still could not find the back of the net, albeit they too went down to ten men in the 106th minute.

In the end, KVK won the contest on penalties, 5-4 and will advance to the next round. Up next however they’ll travel to Brussels on Saturday afternoon to take on Molenbeek.

Beveren 3 – 1 Westerlo

Bryan Reynolds started the game for Westerlo, while Griffin Yow started on the bench but both probably wished they had stayed at home when the team traveled to Beveren and were soundly beaten by lower league opposition. Yow did come on early in the second half and played well, including a decent shot that was saved by the keeper.

The game saw its first goal after just five minutes and then saw Beveren’s lead extended minutes into first half stoppage time. The second half was no kinder to Westerlo because with just 11 minutes left on the clock, the party started at the Freetheil after Reynolds made contact with Bryan Goncalves in the box and the Frenchman went down as if he’d been shot. Regardless, the referee pointed to the spot and Goduine Koyalipou did the honors.

In the 88th minute Westerlo were awarded a penalty that was converted but as they say, it was too little, too late. Never mind. Up next for the American duo will be a trip to Leuven.


After failing miserably in all their Champions League games thus far and suffering in the league, the defending League and Cup winners came out as 4-1 winners against their lower league neighbors, Lierse. Sam Vines is still a few games from rejoining Antwerp, so did take part in this midweek clash. They’ll return to league play on Saturday night when they host Mark McKenzie and Genk.

Marlon Fossey sat out Standard Liege’s 5-0 thrashing of lower league Harelbeke and they will continue their Belgian Cup adventure. Next up though is a visit from Mechelen.


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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