KVC Westerlo – Cercle Brugge

You can say what you like, last week we were in control of the game for 45 minutes, with the apotheosis being a blast from Mathias Fixelles for the 0-1 lead. At half-time, we had wanted to be a fly to see what Hein Vanhaezebrouck had to say. In any case, all Ghent players were woken up, resulting in a blistering start in that second half. Westerlo saw and watched it and sadly could not straighten their backs. No shame against a team that was just eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Conference League.

KVC Westerlo

There were two teams that failed to score against our Kemphians this season: Club Brugge and city fellow Cercle. Another nice statistic is that in the 10 meetings with a West Flanders club, no fewer than seven times the zero was kept on the board: Club Brugge (0-0 and 0-2), Cercle Brugge (2-0 and 0-1), KV Kortrijk (3-1 and 0-2), Zulte Waregem (2-0 and 1-1) and Ostend (6-0 and 1-2).

Meanwhile, it’s been since 18 March, away Oostende, that we’ve taken another full win. Five games we are without the three points. This is even since the 2019-2020 season, when we experienced this again. 

This week, we looked at the individual stats – with opponent Cercle Brugge – of the 15 players who got playing minutes on the Gent pitch last week:

S. Bolat 13 10 1 2
M. Fixelles 11 5 2 4
T. Dierckx 10 6 4 0 1 2
L. Van Eenoo 9 7 2 0 1 1
N. Chadli 3 3 0 0 1 1
T. v d Keybus 3 3 0 0
I. Vetokele 2 2 0 0 1
R. Neustaedter 2 2 0 0
R. Tagir 2 2 0 0
M. De Cuyper 2 2 0 0
B. Reynolds 2 1 0 0
K. Vaesen 1 1 0 0
N. Madsen 1 1 0 0
D. Nene 1 1 0 0
Y. Matuo 0

G = Games / W = Win / D=Draw / L=Loss / G=Goals / A= Assists

SV Cercle Brugge 

he club played 0-0 against Standard last week. We took a quick look at the starting eleven for this match:

Radoslaw Majecki: Is a goalkeeper on loan from parent club AS Monaco. The 23-year-old Pole was spotted by the French club in the winter of 2020, when they went scouting at top Polish club Legia Warszawa. The switch became permanent in the summer of that year and he made 11 appearances in two years in the Principality before being based at Cerle.

Boris Popovic: Like his goalkeeper, this French-born Serbian is the property of Monaco. Joined local Tours FC at the age of eight, which was then playing in the French Ligue 2. In 2017, Monaco came knocking and via the U19 and B team, he arrived at Brugge 2 years ago. Got one red card in his career: the opening game in July at the Kuipje.

Christiaan Ravych: this young West Fleming was allowed to make his debut in professional football on matchday 2, in a home game against Anderlecht. After the New Year, he has become an undisputed title holder at the centre of the green and whites’ defence.

Jean Marcelin: another one owned by Monaco. He received his training at Auxerre, played 4 games with Monaco’s U21 before arriving at the club with Popovic. Last season he was titular, last week against Standard he was in the starting line-up for the first time since February.

Hugo Siquet: this man from Liège is the regular right-back of our Belgian U21. Two years ago he made his debut at Standard and 1.5 seasons later he joined Freiburg in the German Bundesliga. Sits at Cercle on 15 appearances with 2 goals and as many assists.

Olivier Deman: born in Antwerp, he made his first signing with a football club (Knokke FC) at the age of 5. Two years later he was snatched away from there by Cercle, only to make his debut in the highest division 12 years later in a game against Standard. Two minutes of playing time was granted to him then, currently he has already added 5547 minutes there. Ranks fourth among the current core in terms of number of games at the club.

Leonardo Lopes: this reasonably small midfielder (1m68) took his first steps in football in Portugal, before moving to England with his parents at the age of 13. While the first name of his English club was unknown (Powerleague Colts), Peterborough,Wigan, Gillingham and Hull are more familiar names to the ears of those who follow English football. He had 8% share of “goal participation” in the regular league with his 4 assists.

Abu Francis: comes from the well-known Ghanaian academy Right to Dream. Danish club FC Nordsjaelland went to take him away from there in 2019 and after 60 appearances, 7 goals and 5 assists, he went to try his luck at Cercle.

Thibo Somers: went through all youth categories at the green blacks. Could play his 100th game in the first team on the final matchday of these Europe Play Offs.

Yann Gboho: managed to secure no fewer than 24 caps for France’s youth national teams between 2016 and 2017. From his batch, only two players eventually progressed to Les Blues, Badiashile from Chelsea and Khéphren Thuram from Nice. The attacking midfielder, who can also come out on either flank, is the nephew of Ambroise Gboho.

Ayase Ueda: a shot in the arm was the acquisition of this Japanese player. He managed to produce 19 goals this season. In the top marksman list, he only had to beat Ghent’s Hugo Cuypers. Although he also regularly found his way to goal for the U21 and U23, he is still looking for his first goal for Japan’s main squad. 

Lawrence Visser

Visited Kuipje five times earlier in his career, including once in the current season:

1.     KVC Westerlo – KV Oostende: 1-2
2.     KVC Westerlo – OH Leuven: 3-2
3.     KVC Westerlo – KRC Genk: 0-0
4.     KVC Westerlo – Beveren: 1-0
5.     KVC Westerlo – KAS Eupen: 0-1

Text and statistics: Peter Boons