What was a duel between two teams in the Europe Play-Offs late last season was now somewhat surprisingly a duel between two teams camped at the bottom of the standings. So both teams were keen to wipe out their missed start to the season. In a buzzing Sclessin, old acquaintances Chadli and Bolat not only returned to their homeland, the latter also made his comeback under the crossbar.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, J. Bos (81′ E. Jordanov), L. Van Eenoo (81′ D. Haspolat), M. Frigan (67′ K. Vaesen), S. Sydorchuk, B. Reynolds, R. Tagir, R. Neustädter, E. Bayram, Y. Matsuo (74′ T. Van Den Keybus) , N. Chadli (74′ L. Stassin)
At the Fiery City, it was our Kemphians who first lit the fire. An eager Matsuo was sent down the lane by Chadli, but from a sharp angle he could not outsmart home goalkeeper Bodart. Moments later, Chadli himself was at the cannon with a free kick, but again Bodart’s fists saved.
On the half-hour mark, Standard managed for the first time to convert the churning chants of the home crowd into goal danger. Balikwisha cleared space for a shot with a technical highlight, but Bolat was on hand to parry his effort into the short corner.
Just before half-time, the Westel goalie again proved to be well on target to keil a swirling ball just in front of Sowah’s feet. So we went into half-time with a 0-0 score after a more than hopeful first half.
The end of the first half, marked the picture of play at the start of the second. The Rouches claimed possession of the ball more, Balikwisha testing with a ricochet shot whether Bolat had come out of the dressing room awake.
I can do better than that, thought Djenepo. After a long dribble, the Liege winger armed his shot, but it eventually bumped wide of Bolat’s goal.
A raft of yellow cards were all that could be noted on the match sheet in the minutes that followed. Fresh blood on both sides, however, once again revived the game. Substitute Price found Kanga on the edge of the small rectangle, but his nick was turned away by a deft foot sweep from Bolat.
Both supporters’ cores were still hoping for a goal, but it did not come. So we ended this game as we started it, 0-0. So both Standard and Westerlo can add a dash in the standings and can also add their first clean sheet of the season to the stats books.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Ses/Photo News