The sun in the Jan Breydel Stadium was already making us dream of summer holidays, but before the men’s footballers could pack their bags, they had to get their match uniforms out of their sports bags for the last time this season. Not much more than a battle for honour was at stake for our Kemphans, who came to the kick-off with a slightly reshuffled team due to the absence of a string of injured players.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: N. Gillekens, P. Perdichizzi, M. Fixelles (65′ L. Van Eenoo), N. Madsen, M. De Cuyper (85′ K. Mabea), B. Reynolds, E. Jordanov (65′ T. Dierckx), R. Neustaedter, T. Van den Keybus, D. Nene (76′ G. Yow), Y. Matsuo (76′ M. Gümüskaya)
To that list of injured players, opponents Cercle Brugge were also allowed to add a dash after 12 minutes. They soon saw defender Popovic out injured. In terms of big goal chances, however, our sheet remained blank for a long time, despite both teams passing the ball well in the early stages of the match. After some timid attempts on goal, Gboho decided to really put a goalkeeper to work in minute 25. However, his shot towards the top corner was nicely tapped into a corner by Gillekens.
The first shot between the posts sparked a resurgence in the game, with our Kemphans also managing to get in front of the home side’s goal with a shot by Jordanov just wide, on the other side Gillekens kept Decostere from the opening goal with a sprightly foot reflex.
Not much later, Gillekens again showed his class on a header from Denkey. Van den Keybus, in turn, then also provided the Westelf fans travelling along with a goal chance, but his shot was cornered by Cercle goalie Majecki. Both supporters saw their team threaten, but neither side scored in the first 45 minutes. So we went into half-time with 0-0 after an enjoyable first half.
With the spy head in sight, Cercle started the second half briskly, but fortunately for KVC, Gillekens had also come out of the dressing room sharp.
In the following minutes, Cercle retained possession of the ball, but they were unable to really create a new threat. The game ended up in a bit of a wak and both trainers noticed that too. A double substitution round both sides brought in some fresh blood, which immediately resulted in a goal chance for our Kemphians. Nene found the newly-installed Van Eenoo on the edge of the penalty area, his shot was defused in two times by Majecki.
A quarter of an hour before time, the same Van Eenoo unfortunate way did provide the opening goal in this match, when a faraway free kick via Marcellin landed unhappily on the Westel captain’s head.
With a goal chalked up, our Kemphians were still looking for the equaliser, but just when it seemed to be coming through the substitute Griffin Yow, the sledgehammer blow followed not much later via a quick counter from the home side, which was expertly rounded off by Gboho. Thus, KVC ends its last game of this season with a 0-2 defeat, a slight bitter aftertaste of an otherwise wonderful season for Westerlo.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Luc Meynaerts