MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Anderlecht had to come from behind Sunday after Milan Jovanovic was shown a straight red card as they shared the points with Liege in the Belgian capital.
American midfielder Sacha Kljestan started the game and put in a 68-minute shift, but - other than Jovanovic - his teammate Lucas Biglia and Liege's William Vainqueur both saw a pair of yellow cards and were also given their marching orders.
It only took the home team three minutes to find the back of the net. Standard's No. 1 keeper, Eiji Kawashima, saved the first shot at goal by poorly punching the ball away like a boxer in the late rounds of a prize fight. The ball fell right to the feet of Biglia, and the Argentinian made the Japanese international pay for his mistake.
In the 22nd minute, though, the visitors evened the score when Reza Ghoochannejhad played Michy Batshuayi through the middle. The youngster beat his defender and then Silvio Proto between the Anderlecht pipes.
Biglia received his first yellow card in the 35th minute, and Jovanovic picked up his costly red five minutes later. The Serbian chased a through ball that was hit into the box, but, while trying to save it from a goal kick, Daniel Opar shoved him harder than necessary. The former Liverpool man sought revenge and came back at the Nigerian, throwing him to the ground from behind.
After the intermission, it was Liege's turn to take the lead, as Yoni Buyens found the back of the net seven minutes past the restart. The celebrations were short-lived, however, because nine minutes later Vainqueur received his second yellow to make it 10 v. 10 once again.
The game was evenly contested through most of the rest of the second half, but the visitors would get the upper hand yet again when Biglia picked up his second yellow with nine minutes left on the clock. Still, Les Mauves refused to admit defeat, and their efforts paid off when they won a free kick taken by substitute Denis Odoi. The Belgian subsequently picked out Guillaume Gillet, who scored his fourth goal of the season to earn a hard-fought point for the league leaders.
Next up for Anderlecht will be a Sunday evening trip north to take on Waasland-Beveren.