MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, April 23, 2018
Kenny Saief went the distance for Anderlecht in a losing effort while Erik Palmer-Brown came on as an early sub for Kortrijk and Ethan Horvath rode the pine for Club Brugge.
Genk 2 - 1 Anderlecht
After their passionate victory over the league leaders just over a week ago, Anderlecht has suffered two defeats in a row, with the last one at the hands of the Smurfs of Genk.
Saief started for les Mauves but could do nothing about his team's sloppy defending in the second minute when Bojan Nastic's ball across the face of the Anderlecht goal was missed by keeper Matz Sels but not the unmarked Dieumerci N'Dongala who side-footed it in at the far post.
After a sloppy pass 20 minutes in, however, where Genk cleared but then handed the ball back to Anderlecht in their third, Lazar Markovic took the ball by the horns and scored from 12 yards out to restore parity. That was the Liverpool loanee's first goal for the club and this was also the scoreline that ended the first half.
Genk's winner, however, came just before the hour mark when they raced forward, the ball played through to Nikolaos Karelis who, from eight yards out, pulled it back to Leandro Trossard and gift the goal to his Belgian teammate.
The loss could have had a devastating effect on the Brussels Boys but Club Brugge dropped a couple of points the next day and so the gap stands at seven points, instead of nine. It will still be a hard task for them to retrain the title with just 15 more points up for grabs.
Next up for the defending champions will be a Sunday afternoon visit from Sporting Charleroi.
Zulte Waregem 3 - 0 Kortrijk
Manchester City loanee Palmer-Brown started on the bench but after just 17 minutes he was stripped down and entered the field of play for Bernard Kumordzi who suffered an early injury. The American midfielder and fellow defenders had to be on their toes with attack after attack but they were not able to make it to the intermission without conceding due to a ball headed past the keeper from close range by Theo Bongonda just two minutes before the whistle.
Peter Olayinka was having his way on the left flank but when he charged into the box, Kortrijk defender Christophe Lepoint unceremoniously brought him down, picked up a yellow card and gave Waregem a chance to double their lead. Tunisian attacker Hamdi Harbauoi placed the ball on the spot and coolly slotted it past the keeper, sending him the wrong way.
To add insult to injury, Essevee Onur Kaya beat the keeper at the near post to give them the three points and open the gap between the two teams. Though still in second place in their group, Kortrijk now finds themselves four points behind Waregem with half of the 10 games now played.
Next up for Palmer-Brown and KVK will be a visit from Lierse on Saturday night. Kumordzi's injury doesn't seem to be serious so he may displace his American colleague for the next game.
Ethan Horvath was on the bench for Brugge as they battled it out to a 4-4 tie with Standard Liege. It was a 93rd-minute goal by Croatian sub Duje Cop that saved a point for Standard.
Sporting Lokeren will travel to Royal Antwerp this evening but Juan Pablo Torres is not expected to feature.