Four out of six, that was KVC Westerlo’s haul last season in their mutual clashes with Club Brugge. A true feat for the history books, but also a nice goal to try to match this season. Coach Jonas De Roeck did so with virtually the same starting eleven as last week against Eupen, with the exception of two new names, namely Frigan and Reynolds.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, M. Fixelles (84′ M. Gümüskaya), J. Bos, N. Madsen, M. Frigan (72′ K. Vaesen), E. Daci (57′ A. Mebude), B. Reynolds (84′ E. Jordanov), R. Tagir, R. Neustädter, T. Van Den Keybus, Y. Matsuo (72′ L. Stassin)
The Bruges side, on the other hand, were keen to reverse that negative balance against KVCW this season. A fantasy shot by Thiago after 2 minutes therefore heralded a series of waves of attacks towards our Kemphans’ goal. Attempts by Thiago and Nusa initially went wide, but when Vanaken and Skov Olsen were able to score from close range, Bolat saved the game for the home team.
At the other end, our Kemphians cobbled together a few counters, but apart from a header chance from Neustädter, they were unable to really push their stamp in the zone of truth.
Club, meanwhile, retained most of the ball possession and when Vanaken set his striker brother Thiago off alone towards goal, that predominance in possession also translated into a lead for the visitors.
So after Club managed to double the lead just before half-time, when Skov Olsen also suddenly came face to face with Bolat, but his effort splashed onto the crossbar.
Like the first half, the second half of play opened immediately with a dangerous goal chance, albeit this time it was our Kemphians who provided the threat. After a clever combination through the middle, Madsen pulled the trigger, his deviated shot landing only just wide of Mignolet’s cage.
Club’s reply did not take long, however. First Bolat prevented Club striker Thiago from his second goal of the evening, then he also called a halt to Vanaken and Skov Olsen. When the Westel goalie let a ball slip from his fingers moments later, fortunately for KVC ref Boterberg intervened for a prior foul.
At the other end, his fellow goalkeeper Mignolet also had to show his skills on a fine free kick by substitute Kyan Vaesen.
Vaesen’s shot heralded a Westerlo final offensive. Mebude made his way towards the box, but his effort was turned away by Mignolet, and not much later Vaesen saw his shot deflected into a corner by an outstretched Bridge leg.
But with extra time approaching, the Westel attacking fire was once again extinguished. Deep into injury time, it was even Club that thumbed its nose at the window again. A shot by Nusa landed against the crossbar via Bolat’s fingertips, Vanaken’s rebound was flagged for offside. So we ended the second half as we started it, with a 0-1 final score. No points in the first home game of the season, next week a first chance for revenge against KAA Gent awaits.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Dha/Photo News