Forget the cliché of the quiet Kempen. Het Kuipje was buzzing and buzzing before the kick-off of the match between KVC Westerlo and KV Kortrijk. On the pitch, the contributions of Tuur Rommens and Erdon Daci had to provide extra fireworks as well as point-scoring. Off the pitch, the twelfth man with another fine tifo provided the necessary ingredients for an exciting evening of football in ’t Kuipje.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, D. Haspolat (78′ N. Madsen), S. Sydorchuk, E. Daci (69′ T. Van Den Keybus), B. Reynolds (78′ E. Jordanov), R. Tagir, T. Rommens (78′ J. Bos), R. Neustädter, E. Bayram, L. Stassin, Y. Matsuo
The fervent enthusiasm from in the stands, did not immediately translate on the pitch. Apart from a weak warm-up shot by Kadri for Bolat, it remained windless in terms of goal threat in the opening quarter.
An industrious Kadri tried to change that after about 20 minutes. From a sharp angle, he came face-to-face with Bolat, but the latter won the argument. Even on El Idrissy’s attempt, the Turkish goalie showed he was on his guard tonight.
Who was also on his guard was Erdon Daci. The North Macedonian marksman saw his good substitution at Genk rewarded with a starting place and also against KV Kortrijk thanked his coach for the trust. On a pass from Reynolds, he made the Kuipje gurgle with delight and put the 1-0 lead on the board.
The loud chants that echoed throughout the evening in’t Kuipje faded shortly after half-time. A lively El Idrissy rounded Bolat and tapped the ball into the ropes, but from an offside position.
The fans in the stands regained their breath and with them the Kemphians on the pitch. In a whirlwind quarter of an hour, both Matsuo and Daci bombarded the Kortrijk goal a few times, but they were unable to extend the score.
On the contrary, the goal seemed to fall at the other end. In the closing stages, Kortrijk’s goalkeeper Kadri cut himself free in the sixteen before pulling the trigger. The signs were already hung right away, but that was beyond VAR. That put a stop to the Kortrijk revelry by signalling prior offside. A decision that was met with loud cheers from the Westel supporters, who shouted the first three-peat of the season along across the finish line for KVC.
Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Dha/Photo News