MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, August 27, 2012
The Belgian champions were unable to overcome Pro League minnows Oude-Heverlee Leuven as they settled for a solitary point at Stadion Den Dreef.
Sacha Kljestan went the distance for Anderlecht but perhaps head coach Van den Brom showed OHL a lack of respect by playing a majority of his reserve team. He left goalkeeper Silvio Proto on the bench, along with Polish international Marcin Wasilewski, Rubenilson Kanu and Behrang Safari. The team's top goal-getter Dieumerci Mbokani, Argentinean international Lucas Biglia and influential Belgian midfielder Guillaume Gillet were not even selected.
Les Mauves however did get off to a good start and the pressure on the Leuven defense paid off after only ten minutes. Milan Jovanovic, charging up the right wing, found Fernando Canesin entering the "D" who in turn slid the ball across to Sacha Iakovenko. The Ukrainian hit the target and rippled the net from eight yards out. Minutes later he rattled the post for what could have been a second goal.
After absorbing all the Anderlecht pressure for most of the game, Leuven struck back. After a shot from distance was blocked, the ball fell to Ibou Sawaneh, who raced by Denis Odoi into the box and stuck the ball cross goal and into the inside netting. This was the Gambian's fifth goal in five games.
The home team had the best chances of the second half but could not find the winner. Anderlecht's best chance at breaking the deadlock however was in the 81st minute but Jovanovic missed an open goal.
Anderlecht now sits two points behind the league leaders Club Brugge in second place. Club beat Mons by a 3-1 score line in Walloonia on Sunday evening.
Next up for Anderlecht will be the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against Limassol on Tuesday night. The Cypriots have a 2-1 lead from the first leg.