KVC Westerlo – Sporting Charleroi

Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, B. Reynolds, R. Neustaedter, P. Perdichizzi, E. Jordanov (87′ T. Dierckx), T. Van den Keybus, M. Fixelles, N. Madsen (65′ N. Chadli), L. Van Eenoo, Y. Matsuo, K. Vaesen (65′ D. Nene)

First half

First chance of the match fell along Charleroi’s side. A brief oversight by Neustaedter allowed Bayo to appear alone in front of Bolat. Our Turkish goalie was still well between them which meant the danger was averted. Our team responded immediately after this phase by putting the opening goal on the scoreboard themselves. Madsen shifted play excellently from side to side to Matsuo who rebounded to Van Eenoo. Our captain delivered the ball beautifully in front of goal where Fixelles was able to head in at the far post, 1-0.

Charleroi played mainly on the long ball for the first half hour. Bayo was almost brought alone to goal but an alert Bolat came out well to clear the ball. Then the game was briefly stopped because of a VAR intervention. Valentine went through on Matsuo’s ankle, ref Erik Lambrechts decided to give yellow.

In the 34th minute, Charleroi managed to get back into the game. Reynolds took a little too much time to control the ball after a corner kick for our Kemphans. The opponent then managed to set up a counter on the left flank after which Bayo was able to work the ball into the ropes, 1-1. A few minutes later, the game turned completely around. Reynolds first managed to put in another excellent move from the right flank and put the ball in front of goal. Then it was again via the left flank that Charleroi were able to counter. The free-standing Daan Heymans, Westel’s youth product, worked the ball into goal from a cross from Mbenza, 1-2.

Second half

Just after half-time we almost got back to level on two occasions but Charleroi goalkeeper Hervé Koffie managed to keep the ball out of his goal both times with an excellent save. On the hour, the spot was briefly pointed to because of a suspected foul on Van den Keybus. After a brief VAR check, it was determined that there had been no contact, so play was simply resumed.

Charleroi had another great chance to make it 1-3 but we got away with it, as the ball hit the top of the post. The bad weather conditions did not do the game much good either, the second half was characterised by many slips.

After 65 minutes, coach De Roeck thought it was time for changes in the squad. Nene and Chadli were allowed onto the pitch, replacing Vaesen and Madsen. Nene almost had an immediate impact via a shot towards the far corner but again Koffi was well between them. In minute 89, ref Erik Lambrechts pointed to the spot again. This time after a foul on Dorgeles Nene. Tuur Dierckx, who had just stepped in, got behind the ball and hit it hard against the nets, 2-2. With 6 minutes of extra time, the game was wide open and both teams seemed to want to go for it.

In the end, it was Charleroi that took the win. Badji kicked towards goal from the edge of the penalty area and saw his shot end just above Bolat, 2-3. With this score the game was called off, the Hainauts walking away with the three points in extremis.