RECAP: WEEKEND BELGIAN ACTION
Three Belgian based Yanks took to the fields of play with Matt Miazga and Chris Durkin coming out on the losing side, while Brendan Hines-Ike was a winner in weekend Belgian action.
Kortrijk 2 - 1 Genk
Brendan Hines-Ike went the distance for KV Kortrijk as they welcomed second place Genk to the Guldensporen Stadium and sent them home with no points after a brace by Senegal striker Pape Gueye.
The game started under a blanket of Flemish fog of West Flanders where it took the players a while to get their bearings in the empty stadium. It was Genk who got the only real chances early on their top scorer Ebere Paul Onuachu should have done better with a great chance but Marco Ilic was up to the task between the posts.
Against the run of play, KVK found themselves up a goal. Julien De Sart provided the perfect pass for Gueye and the front man easily beat Daniel Vukovic in the Genk goal in the 23rd minute. The lead would only last 18 minutes however, with Onauchu doing better this time as he scored his 19th goal of the season.
Kortrijk got off to the better start in the second half and Gueye had a chance with a header but there wasn't enough conviction or power in it to trouble the Australian keeper. His game winner however came off of a corner kick with Timothy Derijck picking up the assist.
The Kerels, with the win, climb up into seventh place. They'll hope to climb higher next higher next week when they head to the coast to take on Oostende, who are just two places and a point behind them.
Mark McKenzie, who had just signed for Genk from Philadelphia Union had not yet joined the team but could be in contention for his debut over the weekend when the Smurfs travel to Mouscron over the weekend.
OH Leuven 1 - 0 Anderlecht
Matt Miazga and Anderlecht made the short trip east, on a frigid Sunday night, to Flemish Brabant where they went up against Leuven. Although just a place below them in he Pro League standings before kickoff; that would change before the night was over and les Mauves would rue their missed chances as they came away with nothing in the 1-0 defeat.
Although not a very entertaining game, Anderlecht did dominate in most areas including possession and shots, though the majority of them missed the target. Nine corners weren't enough either to help them light up the scoreboard although Miazga had a great opportunity from a header that he sadly missed.
The winner didn't come until very late in the game after 18 year old defender Killian Sardella fouled Mathieu Maertens. Coach Vincent Kompany was livid but VAR confirmed the referees decision and Thomas Henry did the honors, scoring his 14th goal of the season.
Now in the fifth spot, just out of the top play-off group, Anderlecht will have to regroup and try to do better over the weekend when they take the long trip to Eupen.
Sint Truiden 1 - 2 Club Brugge
Although Ethan Horvath remained on the bench for Club Brugge as they traveled to Sint Truiden; Chris Durkin got the nod and put in a 90 minute shift but he was unable to make a difference as his Canaries fell to the defending Belgian champions at the Stayen on Sunday night.
Bas Dos, just signed from Frankfurt scored an early goal on his debut and Noa Lang doubled the score before the end of the first half. It was however the hosts who got the first sniff at goal when Durkin sent in a very good cross for Yuma Suzuki but the Japanese striker just couldn't make the vital touch.
In the 13th minute Club broke the deadlock when Charles De Ketelaere spotted Dost in the box and delivered a pass that the Dutchman smashed past American born Japanese goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt. From then on, the visitors were on the front foot, forcing Schmidt into a few more saves.
In the 35th minute Krepin Diatta attacked up the right flank and picked out the young Dutchman, Lang, who struck it into the top corner. A late first half Ruud Vormer effort could have made it three but it was not to be.
With the game all but over in the opening 45 minutes, Sint Truiden did get a consolation goal ten minutes after the restart when De Ridder found Jonathan Buatu, who headed it past Simon Mignolet. Both Durkin and Suzuki had formidable shots later in the game but the Belgian international kept them out.
Club will look to increase their lead at the top of the standings when they head to Beerschot, while STVV hosts Leuven.