KVC Westerlo – Standard

KVC Westerlo and Standard de Liège met in what is called a ‘six-pointer match’. Victory meant creating a significant gap with the bottom regions of the standings, while a loss would have both teams glancing back in the rankings. The fervent fans at ’t Kuipje rallied massively behind their Kemphanen.

KVC Westerlo Lineup: S. Bolat, J. Bos, N. Madsen (91′ T. Van den Keybus), S. Sydorchuk (85′ D. Haspolat), R. Vermant (91′ M. Frigan), G. Yow (85′ R. Tagir), B. Reynolds, R. Neustädter, E. Bayram, A. Piedfort, A. Sayyadmanesh (77′ N. Chadli)

First Half

Before the match, the two goalkeepers Bolat and Bodart were vocal as captains during the toss. Barely had the latter shaken hands with his Westerlo counterpart when the Liège goalkeeper had to be alert to a header from Sayyadmanesh. Fortunately for Bodart, the ball narrowly missed his goal.

In a lively opening quarter, the game flowed back and forth, but afterward, we witnessed a more static match. Until the half-hour mark when a penalty for Westerlo reignited the game. Cool-headed Madsen stepped up to the spot and finished the job from the penalty spot for the eighth time this season.

Standard sought the equalizer and posed more threat. Just before halftime, their forward momentum eventually resulted in an equalizer. Laifis rose majestically above everyone else and headed the ball into the net, making it 1-1.

Second Half

Despite that setback before the break, our Kemphanen were far from shaken at the start of the second half. With a few dazzling attacking waves, Westel surged forward again, but neither Vermant nor Sayyadmanesh could further extend the lead.

However, Griffin Yow did just that. The lively American unleashed a missile just past the hour mark towards the Liège goal, putting our Kemphanen deservedly in the lead.

With a series of substitutions, Standard tried to change the course of the game. Among others, Balikwisha hoped to earn the label of super-sub, but he saw the most dangerous goal attempt Standard managed to muster in the final stages saved by Bolat.

The three points were never in doubt, and the final whistle from referee Vergoote was met with jubilant chants. Thus, ’t Kuipje prepared for a long night of celebration to kick off the weekend.

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