A tough move towards the Jan Breydel Stadium was the last stop for our Kemphans before the international break. Team in form Cercle, led by coach Muslic, were steaming through the league like a high-speed train and could even jump to first place if they won against Westerlo. Our Kemphans, on the other hand, were hoping to finally turn their hopeful moments into points wins.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: N. Gillekens, P. Perdichizzi (88′ R. Tagir), L. Van Eenoo, N. Madsen (81′ T. Van den Keybus), M. Frigan, B. Reynolds, T. Rommens, E. Jordanov (81′ F. Gouré), R. Neustädter, L. Stassin (68′ K. Vaesen), N. Chadli (68′ Y. Matsuo)
In a rippling opening quarter, referee Nathan Verboomen in particular showed himself to be the most active man on the pitch. The Flemish-Brabant ref kept the game under tight control and often had to interrupt the game for small mistakes along both sides. Consequently, we did not get to see much other goal danger as a result. The fans in the stands could not warm up to more than a climbing shot over goal by Stassin and a few through balls that Gillekens was able to pick up. Fortunately, they could rely on the on-the-appointment summer sun for that.
Who was also on the appointment was Denkey. With a shot on the turn on the half-hour, the Cercle striker revived a tentatively preserved game. ‘I can do better than that,’ Chadli thought to himself. With clever cap-and-turn work, he cleared space for a shot, but like Denkey, he too saw his effort disappear wide of the goalpost.
For the first ball between that goal wood, it was waiting until minute 41. A confused attack by the home side over several stations, eventually found its final stop at steam train Siquet, but he could hardly trouble goalkeeper Gillekens with his effort.
Goal chance two between the posts, however, had more success. Siquet – again he – found the head of Denkey with a sharp cross, who made it 1-0 with a steely header just before half-time.
With drumming in the stands and rumbling on the pitch again forcing referee Verboomen to stop the game a lot, we got an almost identical initial phase in the second half as in the first. Yet now the wait for the first shot between the posts was shorter. After a fluent attack by the home team, it was Siquet on the hour who fired the first shot at Gillekens’ goal. However, the Westel goalie stood firm and managed to defuse the shot with a leg sweep.
In the following minutes, Muslic’s men got the game more and more in their grip. Coach De Roeck tried to turn the tide with the insertion of Vaesen and Matsuo, but mere minutes after their input, it was still the home team that was able to double the score. Through a bunch of legs, Denkey found a way to punt the 2-0 on the board.
On the other side, meanwhile, our Kemphians also registered goal danger. Both Vaesen and Frigan saw their swivelling balls towards the left corner float just wide, Van Eenoo in turn saw his advance shot towards the top left corner being tapped away from under the crossbar by an attentive Warleson. And when the Brazilian goalie had to give in on a deviation by Vaesen, the goal post also played its role of bogeyman for our Kemphans.
While the home fans were starting their chants of joy, Frigan found his way to goal deep in injury time. With the connecting goal, he underlined his selection for the Croatian national team, but his second goal in the last two games would not provide any more points.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Peter De Voecht/Photo News