MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, December 19, 2011
Kljestan's Anderlecht picked up all three points, while in the Battle of the Yanks Yao's Boussu-Dour downed Bowen's Roeselare in weekend Belgian action.
Anderlecht 3 - 2 Lokeren
Guillaume Gillet struck twice for Anderlecht, while substitute Dieumerci Mbokani came off the bench to hit the game winner in the driving snow up in Brussels on Sunday evening. For the visitors Benjamin De Ceulaer found the back of the net in between the Gillet goals and Benjamin Mokulu hit the other.
Les Mauves managed to find the back of the net minutes before the half thanks to the Belgian winger. After Sacha Kljestan, who went the full 90 minutes, played a one-two with the Brazilian Fernando, the 19 year old let off his shot inside the 18 yard box only to see Boubacar Barry, the Ivorian national team keeper push the effort away. Unfortunately for Barry, the ball fell to the Belgian who buried his shot into the back of the net.
Sporting leveled the score early in the second half when Mokulu's cross from right of the box found the advancing De Ceulaer, who struck just inside the near post to tie things up. The goal came in the 52nd minute.
anotehr eight minutes passed before Gillet put Anderlecht back in front. From seven yards out the Belgian jumped and got his head to an incoming cross off the foot of Matais Suarez from the right and watched it said into the inside netting behind the far post.
As snow started to fall on the Belgian capital Silvio Proto was called on to make a pair of slippery saves before one got by him. After some poor defending after a Sporting freekick that the Brussels boys were unable to clear from the area, Mokulu found the ball at his feet on the edge of the six-yard box. His first shot was deflected by a defender but it came right back to him and from a few yards out he had no trouble beating Proto.
The eventual game winner came in the 82nd minute off of the late second half substitute Mbokani. As the driving snow came down harder, the orange ball was brought out for a corner kick taken by Milan Jovanovic. The ex-Liverpool man played it short and saw it whipped into the box right in front of the unmarked Congolese, who tapped it in past Barry.
The win kept Anderlecht in the top spot as second place Gent scraped by Cercle Brugge 1-0 later that night. Next up for les Mauves will be a trip south to take on the league's surprise package, RAEC Mons. The Walloonian team boasts the league's leading goal-getter in Frenchman Perbet, who has struck 16 times in 17 games, and scored against Kljestan and company back in August when the teams fought it out to a 2-2 tie.
Roeselare 0 - 2 Boussu-Dour
Having battled to a 1-1 tie in the season opener before Tristan Bowen signed with the Flemish side and Devann Yao was waiting for his work permit, the spoils went to Yao and Boussu-Dour over the weekend with the 2-0 victory on the road.
Yao came on for Boussu in the 58th minute, long after Boussu's opening eighth minute goal delivered by Jean Koffi, who is on loan from AS Roma. The Ivorian latched onto a forward pass at the top of the box and as the keeper was advancing and defenders closed in, he looked it into the lefthand side of the goal.
Bowen played the last 15 minutes of the game and the visitors put the game to bed in the 90th minute when the 80th minute substitute Rachid El Barkaoui doubled the score.
Division 2 in Belgium will be on winter break until the middle of January.