Everyone wants to start with a three-pointer in the first home game of a new season, but last Sunday Club Brugge proved just a little too strong for our Kemphians. The smallest score was on the board after 90 minutes. The second match at the Kuipje will not be off the hook either. European playing AA Gent just canned Polish Pogon Szczecin 5-0 in the Conference League and in the Jupiler Pro League, they are top with a maximum score after two match days.
Coach Jonas De Roeck changed his eleven against Club Brugge in two places. Top purchase Matija Frigan appeared at the kick-off, after his fine substitute performance at Eupen, and Bryan Reynolds was eligible to play just in time to take up a post on the right flank like last season. “Victims” on duty were Edi Jordanov and Mami Gumuskaya, who were allocated a place on the bench. In fact, it was two other substitutes who had the biggest chances to put the equaliser on the board. Kyan Vaesen with a free kick à la Cristiano Ronaldo and also Dire Mebude – after a fine dribble and ditto shot – left Simon Mignolet at work.
Against AA Gent, our boys will again have to wipe their toes. Last season, out of four meetings, we did not manage to get a coveted three points. At the Kuip we recorded scores of 3-3 and 1-3 and at the beautiful Ghelamco Arena we returned home twice with a defeat: 2-1 and 3-1
Historically, we have been waiting 15 years to let the Buffaloes get on the bus without points… Then, in 2008, we got the cooperation of a Gent defender named Jonas De Roeck when he deflected the ball into his own goal in minute 87.
Eleven games the Buffaloes are already unbeaten. Indeed, ten were won and included one draw. We list: Westerlo (3-1) and (1-3), Standard (1-2) and (3-1), Cercle Brugge (0-4) and (2-2), Zilina (5-1) and (2-5), Kortrijk (3-2), KV Mechelen (0-1) and Pogon Szczecin (5-0). So this season, they have already scored 19 times in five matches. The lethal attacking duo Gift Orban (5) and Hugo Cuypers (7) prove and reaffirm that their sights are set sharply from the start of the season.
Orban’s statistics are phenomenal. He is currently in the interest of top English club Tottenham Hotspur, who are looking for a new attacking leader following the departure of Harry Kane. In professional football (Stabaek and Gent), Gift currently has 49 games on his CV with 44 goals. Insane! His mate Hugo Cuypers should not be much inferior. Scoring at 48% is certainly not bad. By comparison, Romelu Lukaku is scoring at 51%. So for many, Hugo belongs in national coach Domenico Tedesco’s selection.
From last season’s robed starting eleven, two central defenders disappeared: Okumu and Piatkowski and they were replaced by Kandouss (Union SG) and Watanabe (Kortrijk). A third player from the JPL joined the ranks, Antwerp’s Pieter Gerkens, who will have to face stiff competition from Kums, De Sart and Hong to secure a place in midfield.
Latest addition is right-back Noah Fadiga, who came over from Stade Brest. Noah’s father is the famous Khalilou, who featured on the Belgian fields between 1997 – 2008 with Lommel, Club Brugge, Gent and GBA. Noah made the move to Belgium because he was denied a work permit in France due to heart problems.
Wesli De Cremer
- 31 years old
- Affiliated to Standard Meerbeek
- Referee since 2014
- Professional debut: 17 August 2019 (KV Mechelen vs Cercle Brugge 3-1)
- Total matches: 123
- Matches KVC Westerlo: 16
- Matches at het Kuipje: 7 (4 wins and 1 draw)
- Matches AA Gent: 2
- Matchs away: 1
- Matches KVC Westerlo – AA Gent: 1 (final score 1-3)
Text and statistics: Peter Boons