No competition can be more haunted than in the cup. It can hardly be a coincidence that the gentlemen calendar makers scheduled the 1/16th finals of the Croky Cup during the Halloween period. On the way to the Heysel, status or class don’t matter. Some top division teams had already noticed that. Our Kemphanen knew they had to be cautious during their visit to the Freethiel.
Line-up KVC Westerlo: N. Gillekens, P. Perdichizzi, M. Fixelles (62′ Y. Matsuo), J. Bos, D. Haspolat (77′ N. Madsen), L. Van Eenoo, M. Frigan (62′ L. Stassin), B. Reynolds, R. Neustädter (46′ E. Bayram), T. Van Den Keybus, N. Chadli (46′ G. Yow)
Not a ghost, but a prince who kicked off the game at the Freethiel. Prince Laurent, accompanied by former club legend Jean-Marie Pfaff, inspired the home team to a strong start. After just three minutes, Sander Coopman hammered the ball into the top of the Westerlo goal following Giorgi’s pass.
In the following minutes, there were more yellow cards than goal chances in a physical match. Until just before the half-hour mark, captain Van Eenoo pointed the way to the Westerlo troops with the first dangerous chance of the game. His shot just went over the Beveren crossbar. Also, an attempt by another Belgian veteran, Nacer Chadli, lacked the precision to be successful.
Westerlo’s pressure increased as the game progressed, but it was Beveren who further extended the score just before halftime. With a low shot, Hrncar added a second goal in injury time of the first half, making it 2-0 at halftime.
Coach De Roeck hoped to turn the tide in the second half with a double substitution. Bayram replaced Neustädter, who had taken a heavy blow earlier in the game, and Yow, the man in form, replaced Chadli.
The latter showed his eagerness right away. The agile American made room for a shot and tested whether Beveren’s goalkeeper Deman had also come out sharp from the dressing room.
However, there was no immediate follow-up to Yow’s action. Our Kemphanen had difficulty imposing their will on Beveren. Only 20 minutes before the end, home goalkeeper Deman had to roll up his sleeves again to save a shot from another American in Westerlo, Bryan Reynolds.
On the contrary, it was Beveren who made the score even heavier. After a softly awarded penalty, Koyalipou ruthlessly fired the 3-0 into the net. On the other side, in the very end, Nicolas Madsen also got to demonstrate his skills from the penalty spot, but his goal was nothing more than a consolation. The cup story of our Kemphanen thus comes to a sadly premature end.
Verslag: Glen Van Herck
Foto’s: Nico Vereecken/Photo News