KVC Westerlo – KAS Eupen

On the penultimate matchday before the winter break, the Kuipje prepared to welcome Rik De Mil as the head coach of the Kemphanen. The opponent for the day was KAS Eupen. After last week’s victory over Kortrijk, our Kemphanen were breathing down the neck of the visitors from the East Cantons in the standings. A new three-pointer at the start of the De Mil era could also leapfrog yellow-blue over the Pandas. 

Line-up KVC Westerlo: S. Bolat, J. Bos, N. Madsen (95′ L. Van Eenoo), K. Vaesen (89′ T. Van Den Keybus), S. Sydorchuk, G. Yow (80′ E. Daci), B. Reynolds, R. Neustädter, E. Bayram, A. Piedfort (89′ D. Haspolat), N. Chadli (80′ B. Haidara)

First half 

Even before the match had started, newly appointed coach De Mil had to make his first tactical adjustments. Frigan had to miss the game due to an injury picked up during the warm-up and was replaced by Vaesen. The latter contributed to the first danger of the match. After a clever deep ball from Chadli, he picked up the ball at the goal line, and his lob over goalkeeper Slonina was cleared for a corner just in front of Yow at the second post.

On the other side, it wasn’t until the 20th minute that Bolat had to get to work on a fine shot towards the second post from a busy Keita.

The game seemed to enter a lull after that, but with halftime approaching, there was a resurgence on the part of our Kemphanen. Left-back Bos embarked on an evening stroll through the Eupen defense, but he couldn’t finish his journey in the sixteen with a goal. The same fate befell Vaesen, whose attempt from the turn narrowly missed the post.

Second half

After the break, our Kemphanen continued on the momentum of the end of the first half. KVCW took possession and sought the opening goal. It almost found it through Bos, who once again advanced, but like in the first half, he couldn’t shoot successfully.

Madsen, however, managed to shoot successfully a little later, albeit with some luck. On Chadli’s assist, the Dane targeted the second post, and when his shot was deflected by a Eupen leg, the score was 1-0.

Less than five minutes later, it was again Madsen who put the man on the scoreboard to work. After a hug from Keita on Piedfort in the sixteen, KVCW’s Danish top scorer coolly executed the penalty from the spot.

The crowd smelled the three points. Westerlo kept good control of the game and threatened dangerously a few more times, including again through Madsen. However, the most dangerous situation in front of goal came at the other end, but a strong Bolat stood firm once again with an excellent cat-like leap. A clean sheet and three points were the result of a beautiful football evening (and the corresponding festive night) in and around ’t Kuipje.

Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Gianni Barbieux/Photo News