ANDERLECHT GETS PAST BOUSSU DOUR
Fielding a majority of reserve players, it took Anderlecht more than an hour to break down Division Two team Royal Boussu Dour Borinage in Belgian Cup action.
For Anderlecht Sacha Kljestan was called upon to provide some experience and stability in the midfield among the youngsters, but New Yorker Devann Yao never got off the bench for the visitors.
As expected, the Belgian champions took early control of the game but at the same time Boussu Dour let it be known that they were not there to make up the numbers. Boussu's midfielder Gaetan Fallempin even got off a shot, albeit from 20 yards out however Anderlecht's 19 year old goalkeeper, Thomas Kaminski was able to make a routine save.
In the 13th minute Kevin Koffi, on loan from AS Roma, broke forward after some le Mauves' pressure and head goal bound, out running a pair of defenders, before finally pulling the trigger. The ball sailed wide of the far post.
A pair of minutes later Dennis Praet was able to get a sniff at goal at the other end of the field but the teenager's shot sailed over William Dutoit's crossbar.
The best chance of the first half actually came from Koffi. The Ivorian speedster latched onto a ball played by Rachid El Barkaoui and went on the attack. Had it not been for a late lunge and deflection by Marcin Wasilewski Polish leg, Kaminski could have been picking the ball out of the back of his net.
Although Anderlecht kept the lion's share of possession, they were less than productive in the attacking third whereas the D2 team made better use of their breaks such as front man Kamel Ouejdide's looper into the box for Koffi. With his back to the goal, he attempted a quasi-bicycle kick which barely missed the target.
Kljestan was dominant in his role and freely distributed the ball to his team mates but with no end result in the first half.
Wasilewski was fed the ball from midfield at the half hour mark but although he got his shot off from just ten yards out he gifted it to the keeper.
Unfortunately for the visitors they lost the backbone of their defense in 32 year old Dare Nibombe. The veteran of the 2006 World Cup for Togo suffered a hard tackle and was unable to continue.
After a lacklustre first half on a chilly Brussels evening, les Mauves must have been read the riot act by their Dutch coach John Van Den Brom because they immediately got down to business after the intermission.
It took just five minutes before Anderlecht started their assault on goal. Tom De Sutter picked out Oleksandr Iakovenko but his shot was smothered by the towering defender Christophe Preseaux. The Ukrainian then struck a free kick from 25 yards out but was no more successful with this chance.
Just subbed into the game minutes earlier, it was Massimo Bruno who broke the deadlock when a ball from the middle of the park was played forward and the 19 year old raced forward, got the best of Rodrigue Dikaba who got tangled up with his goalkeeper. Dutoit slipped and hit the ground while the Belgian teen slotted the ball home, allowing him to score against the team from his home town.
Iakovenko did his best to double the score when he collected the ball in his own half, danced around a couple midfielders and then a couple defenders as he headed for the visitor's goal. It was only a well timed tackle from behind by Preseaux that saved Boussu blushes.
In the 69th minute Boussu were given a corner kick that was taken by substitute Kingsley Umunegbu. The Nigerian frontman delivered a sweet ball right across the face of goal but none of his team mates could get a toe to it for an equalizer.
With ten minutes left on the close Anderlecht's Polish international should have been sent off when he made a vicious tackle on Umunegbu just at the top of the D. Perhaps realizing that he had already booked Wasilewski, referee Nicolas Laforge refused to take out his yellow card. The ensuing free kick made it past the purple wall but not past Kaminski.
Three minutes before the full 90 Anderlecht put the game to bed with yet another attack where Wasilewski fed the ball to Praet wide right of goal. From a very tight angle however, the Belgian was able to slot it past Boussu's net minder.
YA had a quick word with Kljestan after the game.
"It was a cup game against a second division team," the ex Chivas USA player said. "It's not always easy against a D2 team but we got the result and that's what matters."
The victory allows the Belgian champions to advance to the next round of the cup where they'll take on Mechelen.