After the spectacular comeback in Sclessin, the return game followed exactly one week later in ’t Kuipje. The two Kemphans who ensured the return and the well-earned point in the slot – Jordanov and Van den Keybus – once again signed in the starting line-up, under the crossbar Gillekens did replace Bolat. In addition, all Westel supporters present also hoped that last week’s one point would be exchanged for the first three points in ’t Kuipje in these Europe Play-Offs.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: N. Gillekens, P. Perdichizzi, N. Chadli (73′ T. Dierckx), L. Van Eenoo, N. Madsen, M. De Cuyper, E. Jordanov (83′ B. Reynolds), R. Neustaedter, T. Van den Keybus (89′ G. Yow), D. Nene (83′ M. Fixelles), Y. Matsuo (89′ M. Gümüskaya)
The quest for the first three points at home was given added force right from the start. Whereas the new man under the KVC crossbar was allowed to warm up his gloves at a long-distance shot by Ohio, visiting goalkeeper Bodart got his gloves dirty to fish a ball out of the net. Chadli laid the ball ready for De Cuyper after five minutes of play, who popped it low and hard into the right corner. The 1-0 lead was on the board, the dream start was a fact.
Even after the 1-0, our Kemphians maintained their dominance and passed the ball around well. This resulted in a good header chance for Nene, but his effort was nicely parried by Bodart. At the other end, Gillekens also showed his skills, deviating an effort from Emond and Ohio into a corner kick.
On one such corner kick, our Kemphans picked up a counter from the book fifteen minutes before half-time. De Cuyper launched Van Eenoo, who in turn brought the co-running Nene face to face with goalkeeper Bodart. The Malian did not fail and scored his 12th of the season.
Westerlo whirled on merrily. Immediately after the 2-0, Matsuo tested Bodart’s fists, Chadli in turn managed to beat the Standard goalkeeper, but his goal was disallowed by VAR for offside. The same fate befell Nene just before half-time. His second of the evening was also flagged for offside and so our Kemphians eventually went into the break with a deserved 2-0 lead.
Unlike the first half, we did get a calm start to the second half after the break. Westerlo maintained control, while Standard looked for an opening in the home defence. A search in which, after fifteen minutes of football in the second half, Chadli on the opposite side managed to do best. He found the free Van Den Keybus on the edge of the penalty area, who fired a shot straight at Bodart for the first shot between the posts after half-time.
Just as the mercury gradually dropped, the pace also sank a little from the game in the second half. Whose pace never diminished, however, was Nene’s. On a deep ball from Van den Keybus, he easily outplayed his direct attacker 10 minutes before the end, before scoring his second of the evening. The deathblow for Standard, who were unable to threaten goalkeeper Gillekens. A clean sheet, three points and a summer party night is therefore what KVC ended this match with after 90 minutes of whirlwind football from Westerlo.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Luc Meynaerts