MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Kenny Saief was the only American to see action as Anderlecht came away with the win over Royal Antwerp as the Belgian league now heads to the playoff stage.
Anderlecht 2 - 1 Royal Antwerp
Kenny Saief and the defending champions ended the regular season in style as Anderlecht were able to come out on top against their northern neighbors.
Saief started and went the full 90 minutes in a game where teammate Lukasz Teodorczyk finished the season in style by scoring his sixth goal in the last three games. It was also a game where Anderlecht saw two straight red cards.
In the third minute Stallone Limbombe galloped down the field with the ball at his feet, pursued by midfielder Leander Dendoncker. The speedy midfielder caught up to the #9 and the striker convinced the referee that he was fouled. Free kick for Antwerp. Red card for Dendoncker.
But it was les Mauves who struck first. Off a freekick taken by Frenchman Adrien Trebel, the Polish striker Teodorczyk nodded it past Sinan Bolat between the Royal sticks.
The visitors leveled things two minutes before the half however. A header from close range by Brazilian defender Matheus was parried away by keeper Matz Sels but unfortunately it fell to Limbombe who struck hard and true from just six yards out.
Late in the second Saief played Ryota Morioka into the box and the man from Japan was brought down by Sebastein Siani for penalty. Ganvoula converted from the spot to put the home team ahead for good.
Things went bad for Anderlecht however when Trebel was shown a straight red card for an ugly high tackle.
With the victory, les Mauves finish in second place but will have some catching up to do in the playoffs if they plan to retain their title.
Still without Ethan Horvath, Club Brugge overcame a resilient St Truiden on the road and will fight it out in Playoffs Group 1 for the Belgian title.
Juan Pablo Torres did not feature as his Sporting Lokeren team lost at home to Zulte-Waregem by a 2-0 score line. Sporting will compete in one of the two Playoffs Group 2.
Erik Palmer-Brown stayed rooted to the Kortrijk bench as the Flemish team beat Charleroi 2-0 at home. Kortrijk just missed out on the top playoff group and will also compete in Playoffs Group 2.