OH Leuven – KVC Westerlo

For the last time this season, our Kemphanen donned their yellow-blue match attire. The opponents for this season finale were OH Leuven. The short trip to the student city was supported by a large, loyal Kempian fan base, who saw good old Koen Van Langendonck take his place between the posts as a reward for his faithful service during the past season.

Line-up KVC Westerlo: K. Van Langendonck, J. Bos, D. Haspolat (94′ R. Smekens), N. Madsen (64′ K. Vaesen), K. Vaesen (77′ L. Stassin), G. Yow (94′ E. Jordanov), R. Tagir, T. Rommens, R. Neustädter, T. Van den Keybus (62′ A. Piedfort), A. Sayyadmanesh (62′ J. Alcocer)

First Half

The faithful Van Langendonck was able to show his still agile reflexes early in the match. A cross from Akimoto was deflected towards the near post via the leg of Mueanta, requiring Van Langendonck to stretch fully.

We saw mostly a lot of battles and duels. In the opening phase, we noted more fouls than actual goal chances on our summary sheet. Just after the quarter-hour mark, Griffin Yow made an impression with a shot that whizzed a meter wide.

Someone whose name could already be scratched off the match sheet was Ricca. The OHL defender first received a yellow card for a block tackle on a cross from Van den Keybus, but that yellow was turned into a red after a VAR intervention.

Leuven was thus a man down, which clearly gave Westerlo the upper hand. A quarter of an hour before halftime, our Kemphanen opened the scoring through Vaesen, who headed in from close range.

OHL’s response wasn’t long in coming. Mueanta – once again him – appeared alone in front of the Westerlo goal, but the Thai attacker failed to beat Van Langendonck.

Shortly after, the KVCW goalie showed his skills again by denying Thorsteinsson the equalizer. A save that put our Kemphanen in a comfortable position heading into the break. Especially because just before halftime, Ravil Tagir extended the yellow-blue lead to 0-2 with a powerful header.

Second Half

A determined OHL was clearly intent on rectifying the situation after the break. A free kick from Maziz hit the crossbar just five minutes into the second half. Not much later, the equalizer did happen. A shot from Banzuzi first hit the post, but in the rebound, Thorsteinsson managed to put the ball into the net.

A larger onslaught from Leuven, however, did not follow. After a series of substitutions and even more yellow cards – including a second yellow card and dismissal for Russo – Westerlo restored the balance. A deflected shot from Van den Keybus hit the woodwork, Vaesen saw his shot tipped over by Prevot.

In an action-packed finale, Madsen, Stassin, and Yow all saw their shots hit the woodwork, and once again, several players received yellow cards. The score, however, did not change. Thus, our Kemphanen managed to finish their last match of the season with a victory.

Report: Glen Van Herck
Photos: Tomas Sisk/Photo News