MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, February 6, 2012
Sacha Kljestan was the only Yank in Belgium to see action this weekend as Anderlecht continue their winning ways in Pro League action.
Anderlecht 4 - 2 Genk
Not only did American Sacha Kljestan go the distance in les Mauves win over the defending champions, but he also found the back of the net along with Matias Suarez and Dieumerci Mbokani on Sunday afternoon in Brussels.
It took the defending champions only seven minutes to take the lead when 21-year-old Christian Benteke scored from right on the top of the D, beating Silvio proto at the far post. The lead was short lived however because a minute later Suarez hit a wonder goal from 25 yards, looping the ball into the back of the Genk net.
It was the American midfielder who gave Anderlecht their first lead of the night from 25 yards out off a free kick. Lucas Biglia faked the kick and Kljestan followed up, striking it over the wall and beating the keeper at the far post. This was the former Chivas USA man's third goal of the season.
"We've been working on set pieces, free kicks for the past few weeks," Kljestan said after the game. "It's a shot I've practiced for a long time and they said if the ball is 25 meters or so out, I should shoot it... (Lukas) Biglia said to take it also so there was no doubt in my mind."
The 35th minute strike allowed the home team to take the lead into the locker room at half time but 15 minutes after the re-start Mbokani, who missed a trio of chances already finally made good. Milan Jovanovic crashed into the box and laid the short pass across to Suarez. Logan Bailly in teh Genk goal parried the short away but it fell to Suarez again and his next close range shot was cleared off the line but only to the on-rushing Congolese striker who didn't miss a fourth time.
The visitor's got one back three minutes later off a free kick wide right of the top of Proto's box. The delivery was met by Elianiv Barda's head and Genk were back in the game.
When the clock struck the 77th minute mark Anderlecht put the game to bed. This one was from seven yards out. After putting a move on his defender, Mbokani beat Bailly and sent the ball into the netting.
The win keeps Anderlecht seven points in front of second place Gent. Next up for les Mauves is a clash against their bitter rivals Standard Liege on Sunday.
New Gent signing Mix Diskerud made the bench but will have to wait at least another week for his Belgian Pro League debut. His team however overcame a stubborn OH Leuven with a 3-2 victory on the road.
The Belgian FA cancelled all but top division games this past weekend due to inclement weather, so Devann Yao and Tristan Bowen had the weekend off in Division Two action.