After last weekend’s 3-1 win against KV Kortrijk, today’s match was scheduled for a trip to KV Oostende. Dominik Thalhammer’s boys are still in a tough relegation battle and were therefore not about to simply suffer a similar scenario to the previous encounter (6-0).
Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, B. Reynolds, R. Neustaedter, P. Perdichizzi, M. De Cuyper, N. Madsen, L. Van Eenoo, M. Fixelles (90′ M. Gumuskaya), Y.Matsuo (69′ T. Dierckx), D. Nene (77. R. Seigers), K. Vaesen (77′ I. Vetokele)
For a while it looked like our team were not yet well awake until we saw the opening goal in the 11th minute. Reynolds put himself through well on the right wing and passed two Oostende players. He smashed the ball tightly across to the first post where Kyan Vaesen, who has been in very good form lately, headed in superbly. 0-1.
Oostende immediately had a chance to respond. First it was Ndicka who saw his header worked over the goal by an excellent reflex from Bolat. Then there was a momentary effort to clear a corner after which it looked for a moment that Katelaris were going to push in the equaliser. Once again Bolat was well in between on two occasions to preserve the lead.
In minute 35, an intervention by VAR saw play briefly interrupted. Referee Laforge ruled it was hands by Medley and pointed to the spot. Unfortunately, De Cuyper did not manage to convert the penalty this time, his shot going wide on the right. Just before half-time, the Kustboys had another chance for the equaliser, on three occasions Bolat managed to keep the ball out of his nets. Excellent first half from our goalie.
Just before half-time, Neustaedter got the first yellow of the match shoved under his nose, he hooked Ndicka just outside the sixteen-metre area. The ensuing free kick almost provided a surprise equaliser. Sakamoto wanted to cross the ball for a teammate but hit it the wrong way, the ball ending up on the goalpost. Then the whistle sounded and the players headed into the dressing rooms.
Just after half-time, our Kemphans had the outstanding opportunity to increase the lead further. Nene was sent deep by Madsen on the counter. In front of goal, the quick-witted striker tried to lay the ball back to Matsuo but saw his pass intercepted by an excellent sliding tackle.
Ostend kept trying but for now, for them, every chance all game was the case of just not getting the ball in. For our Kemphans, it seemed to become a matter of being able to convert a good counter into a second goal.
In the 69th minute, coach Jonas De Roeck made the first change among the Westel eleven. Tuur Dierckx came into the field, he was allowed to replace Yusuke Matsuo. A few minutes later it was KVO that managed to break through on the counter. Ndicka looked to be heading for goal but lacked the energy to win the sprint duel with Reynolds. He tried again with a shot from distance but the ball went wide.
Finally, in the 81st minute, KV Oostende did succeed. Our players couldn’t get the ball out of the penalty area, McGeehan took advantage and was able to head the ball in from close range, 1-1. Our Kemphans had a chance to respond almost immediately after this. With some luck, Dierckx got the ball and appeared alone in front of goal. He tried to place the ball over goalkeeper Hubert but his shot went high over.
Westerlo still managed to take the three points. Van Eenoo lashed saw his shot end up in goal via a deflection on Rodin. Three more points in the ranking and another step closer to Play-Off 2!
11′ K. Vaesen (0-1)
81′ C. McGeehan (1-1)
90+2′ L. Van Eenoo (1-2)