Sporting Charleroi – KVC Westerlo

A trip to Charleroi was on the menu for our Kemphanen after the international break. With three new names in the starting eleven, Coach De Roeck hoped to bring three points back to ’t Kuipje.

Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, B. Haidara (77′ G. Yow), J. Bos, N. Madsen, S. Sydorchuk (89′ T. Van Den Keybus), B. Reynolds, T. Rommens, E. Bayram, A. Piedfort, L. Stassin (68′ L. Stassin), Y. Matsuo (68′ E. Daci)

First half

The Zebra’s were the more eager side from the start. Backed by the home crowd, Mazzu’s troops immediately set course for Bolat’s goal, but the Westel goalkeeper didn’t have to come into action in the opening quarter. On the other side, our Kemphans briefly showed their presence in the early stages through Matsuo, but he couldn’t keep his shot on target.

Madsen, however, managed to do that just before the half-hour mark. After a well-crafted attack, the Dane found some space at the edge of the box and pulled the trigger. An unfortunate outstretched leg from Knezevic resulted in a special curve that surprised home goalkeeper Koffi. The first shot on target thus resulted in a goal.

Our Kemphans defended solidly and went into halftime with a 0-1 lead, facing only a close-range header from Benouali just before the break that required Bolat’s alert two-stage response.

Second Half

In contrast to the first half, it was not the Zebra’s but the Kemphanen who had the best start. Bayram carried the ball across the field with skill, but couldn’t seal his long run with a goal in front of Koffi.

However, on the other side, they did find the net. Substitute Daan Heymans cleverly freed himself and equalized between his current employer and his former team.

Westerlo’s response was not long in coming. Matsuo was set up twice in the box, but the agile Japanese forward ran into the swift reflexes of Koffi.

The missed opportunities came back to haunt our Kemphans a bit later when Dabbagh slipped through the offside trap and calmly shot the ball past Bolat for the 2-1 lead.

Westerlo earnestly sought the equalizer, and coach De Roeck threw in Daci, Frigan, Yow, and just before the end, Van Den Keybus, putting all his cards on the table. The latter trio even brought the traveling Westel fans into ecstasy when a sharp tackle from Frigan saw the ball land at Van Den Keybus’s feet. In turn, he set Yow free in the box, who replicated his feat from RWDM, this time in Charleroi.

A point for KVCW seemed to be in the making, but in the dying moments, Sylla still managed to deliver a major blow by heading the ball into the net. A spirited battle thus ended on a sour note for everyone with a yellow-blue heart, as the Zebra’s walked away with the three points.

Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Vincent Kalut/Photo News