Preview OH Leuven – KVC Westerlo
Starting with three points is always nice. Especially when it’s well deserved. Cercle Brugge did not get a single ball between our posts, although they were lucky to be down a man after just half an hour. Leuven will be a different story. They won last weekend with the same figures as us, so the King Power @ Den Dreef will be a nice fixture.
Coach Jonas De Roeck had no surprises on the first day of the match. Not for insiders that know the club. The only newcomer compared to last season’s champions was goalkeeper Sinan Bolat. Although he didn’t have to do much work, you could see his class. Calm on the ball and a good (long) pass. At the back we found Jordanov, Seigers, Perdichizzi and De Cuyper. They all played a hell of a game – Max was even chosen as Man of the Match – and they did not show any cracks in the defensive wall. In the centre of midfield, captain Lukas Van Eenoo played his game as always and was assisted by Roman Neustädter. The German Russian showed that he has Champions League experience. Time and again he was in the right place. Thomas Van den Keybus was on the left flank. He had played there throughout the preparation. The interplay with his buddy De Cuyper also worked brilliantly. On the other flank was Tuur Dierckx. He already showed some nice things in the preparation, and he continued this on the first day of the competition. Not easy after a serious injury and ditto rehabilitation. In the attack were youth product Kyan Vaesen and last season’s top marksman Erdon Daci. The latter opened the season by scoring the first goal for our Kemphans. The second goal – in injury time – was prepared by two substitutes: Jan Bernat gave the assist to Igor Vetokele, while another bench player Lyle Foster saw his goal disallowed because VAR could not draw a clear line.
Did you know?
- Edi Jordanov played his first match in our First Division last week, despite having already played 72 matches for various Belgian clubs
- Maxime De Cuyper – despite Champions League experience – also started for the first time for a league match in the highest division
- Kyan Vaesen has scored as many goals as he has assists in his 44 games for our club, namely 8 of each
- We have 2 players in our ranks who have also played for OHL? Nick Gillekens made his debut in the main squad in 2014 in a match against Mons (1-1). It was coach Ivan Leko who brought him then. 4 seasons later and with 64 games on his counter he left the Brabanders.
- Lukas Van Eenoo who is second player? In 2014, he left his familiar surroundings at Cercle Brugge for the very first time to play some games in Leuven. 15 games later and with one goal and two assists to his name, he went to Kortrijk.
In the team that took distance from Kortrijk in the last quarter of an hour last week, there were no less than 5 acquisitions. Goalkeeper Cojocaru, who was loaned by Dnipro to Dutch side Feyenoord for 3 months after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. The Romanian is with his 1m95 one of the biggest goalkeepers of our series. The trio of Pletinckx, Patris and Ouédraogo appeared next to him. The first came over from Zulte Waregem, where he was captain for a while, the two others were also in the core last season, but then they barely got a chance to play. The young Patris made a name for himself as a central defender, giving the decisive pass on both goals. A quartet of players filled up the midfield: De Norre and Maertens – the latter is the new captain by the way – were also to be seen in Leuven last year, and Gamboa and Holzhauser were the newcomers. At the age of 26, the Portuguese Gamboa tasted football outside Portugal for the first time, and Holzhauser knows everyone who has followed Belgian football in recent years. Two seasons ago, he had a wonderful season with 16 goals and 16 assists, came second in the referendum of the Golden Shoe and was then also selected for the A-selection of his country for the first time. On the flanks, Jordanian Al-Tamari and Icelander Thorsteinsson were given a try last week, and young Nsingi was deep in the striker’s box for lack of a deep striker in the core.
Did you know?
- Joren Dom could also have made the switch to the Kuipje in the off-season, but he felt OHL was already further along in their development.
- OHL was the first to start preparation this season.
- At 60 years old, coach Marc Brys is the oldest coach in the series.
- They are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season. In 2002, Stade Leuven and the Black Devils Oud-Heverlee then merged.
- Our Red Flames and our Young Devils also play their home games in the stadium of Leuven.
Referee Brent Staessens
- 25 years old
- 6 matches for Westerlo
- 4 wins – 2 draws
- 3 matches on away grounds – all 3 won
- For OHL it is his debut
Text and statistics: Peter Boons