Today was the first return match of the first round and also the last match of the 2022 calendar year. We had the honour of hosting Mark Van Bommel’s Antwerp FC who currently occupy third place in the rankings.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, M. Fixelles (77′ K. Vaesen), N. Chadli (70′ L. Van Eenoo), N. Madsen, L. Foster, M. De Cuyper, B. Reynolds, R. Tagir, R. Neustaedter, H. Akbunar (89′ E. Jordanov), D. Nene (77′ T. Dierckx)
Line-up R. Antwerp FC: J. Butez, R. De Laet, A. Muja, C. Stengs, V. Janssen, G. Avila, T. Alderweireld, J. Bataille, A. Vermeeren, W. Pacho, M. Frey
Antwerp were presented with a chance on goal almost immediately. Fixelles failed to control the ball properly, giving Stengs seas of space. He kicked towards the bottom right corner but Bolat just managed to get his hand between them.
On the quarter-hour mark, Westerlo had a good opportunity. Akbunar was able to get De Laet off the ball and then cut inside. From there he took out on goal but his shot went wide.
Just before the half-hour mark, Antwerp had an excellent chance via a cross towards the far post. A shot was fired towards goal but Bolat just got his fingertips to it, blocking the ball.
Just before half-time we got away very well. Frey was able to work the ball into the open goal after a sharp cross but failed to control the ball properly, allowing Tagir to clear it off the line. We then managed to take advantage of the momentum. De Cuyper was allowed to kick a corner and decided to head towards the far post. At first it looked like Chadli worked the ball into goal, but it turned out to be de Cuyper who worked the ball straight into goal, and we were able to make it 1-0 thanks to an Olympic goal.
Immediately after half-time, we doubled our lead. Alderweireld worked a cross away to the feet of Madsen, who then curled it neatly into the right corner, 2-0. However, Antwerp quickly responded with the tying goal. Frey received the ball from the left after first Reynolds was brought to ground. The Swiss kicked the ball into the net in a controlled manner, making it a close call again.
In minute 65, our Kemphans managed to increase their lead again. This time, after recovering the ball, Fixelles was able to go on goal with a nice solo run. He took out from the edge of the 16-yard area and popped the ball perfectly into the top right corner, Butez had no chance.
In minute 70, Lukas Van Eenoo was allowed to make his return to the league after sitting on the sidelines for a long time with an injury. He came on to replace Nacer Chadli. Reynolds was able to take another shot at goal. He came in from the right and tried to curl the ball towards the far corner but unfortunately saw his attempt fail.
It promised to be exciting final minutes in ’t Kuipje. In minute 86, Vincent Janssen was able to place the ball into the far bottom corner from the right. This reduced the lead to one goal again. This lead was also only short-lived because two minutes later it was again a goal for Antwerp, now Stengs managed to work the ball into the centre of the goal, bringing us to a draw. 3-3 became the final score of the match.
44′ M. De Cuyper (1-0)
47′ N. Madsen (2-0)
51′ M. Frey (2-1)
65′ M. Fixelles (3-1)
86′ V. Janssen (3-2)
88′ C. Stengs (3-3)