Antwerp in power. After a hard-fought victory over Racing Genk, Great Old is already jumping into pole position. Thanks to two errors by Sadick, Alderweireld and Balikwisha were able to reverse a lopsided putt. In lost time, King’s assistant Mike Tresor, like Aziz Ouattara, got another expensive red card. De Bosuil exploded, but he also realized: with three teams at one point, it would be very exciting in the play-offs.
Antwerp – Genk in a nutshell
Key moment: Just before half-time, Antwerp were awarded their second penalty of the match. After Jansen fouled earlier, it was now Toby Alderweireld who positioned himself behind the ball. Alderweireld converts the penalty kick with feeling, after the break The Great Old uses the stand to beat it. Genk can’t get any more.
man of the match Central was once again very strong Mandela Keita playing football. After his goal against Al-Ittihad on Wednesday, he once again had a good shot. Together with Arthur Vermeeren, Antwerp’s midfield continues to progress.
distinct: For the first time since October 15th, Racing Genk has to give up the lead position. Seems like the worst time imaginable to give up the role, two days into qualifying. It will take some time, but Genk will probably have to finish it off completely without Tresor, who was shown a red card at the end.
Strong football and two goals before the end of the first half
Divergent patterns, as we previously expected. Offense against defense, an unstoppable force against an immovable object, something like that.
During the first half, we were particularly tough against the soft. It was a game of marbles, perhaps for the title, with plenty of duels and grit. Lambrechts had to put out the fires.
Antwerp had the ball in the first quarter without any real chances. On the other side, Keita let his man Mackenzie walk into the corner. Three times the American was allowed to serve the ball to Botez undisturbed, and on the third occasion the flogging crossed the line.
The home team fell behind, but did not despair. Just continuing to do so resulted in a penalty kick after Sadick clumsily choked in his duel with Janssen. The error occurred on the line, but that was also where Vandevoordt grabbed the ball moments later. All the good things Jansen had shown from the penalty spot earlier in the season seemed to be gone. A weak penalty kick from the Dutchman.
Mandela Keita seemed to give the biggest revival, just before the break. His flame is only 25 meters away from the net.
Or at least, because once again The Great Old got a penalty. Brian Heynen came in for the ball in the penalty area and somewhere on the floor the ball bounced off his elbow. Really a recompense, but one punishment, not a heart. Now it was Captain Alderweireld from behind the ball. With a velvety touch, Vandewoord was left without a chance this time. Draw to the first half.
A huge boost to the home team, who immediately seemed to have pressed Racing Genk to death with bare hands after the break. On the sound waves of the Red Legionnaires in the stands, the visitors were prevented from breathing.
A lack of oxygen ensued for Majid Sadiq, who took a ball from Vandewoordt very casually. Michel Ange Balikuesha had a good snack and was soon alone in front of the Genk goalkeeper. A blast in Bosuil, but they’re already used to it in Antwerp.
Botez lost 28 clean sheets already in the first half, but after the break, Antwerp played from a bench, with a powerful, dominant ball. Sadick was again too slow and Janssen nearly doubled the lead, barring McKenzie.
Hesitating, Genk had to move on, resulting in one big opportunity. Paintsil left Avila in the dust, and substitute Tolo pressed the post.
Then the frustrations of Genk, which collapsed on the unrelenting massif of Antwerp, shattered the irrepressible force. Munoz thought he had headed it 2-2 at the extreme, but Ouattara flicked his elbow too far.
Then, when there was absolutely nothing to gain, Genk was derailed by the opposition. The king of assists Mike Trezor showed himself and let him leave the field with a red card – a minute before the siren. Ouattara followed with a second yellow.
An agonizing end with nine such for the visitors, and that seems to apply to the end of the season as well. If he can’t beat Al Ittihad next week, he could be completely out of contention for the title. On the other hand, Antwerp seems to be able to fulfill its destiny.
Franken: “I don’t get into penalties too much, otherwise I’d be in trouble”
Mark van Bommel (Antwerp): “Very satisfied. I noticed that we didn’t panic after 0-1 and even after Vincent’s penalty (which you don’t miss often) we keep going. What we show after the break is our style and our way of playing football. Sometimes it’s better than other times, so Baliquecha’s goal isn’t the first time we’ve scored like that with high pressure, although you have to be lucky assuming the opposition.”
On the great atmosphere at Bosuil tonight: “I’ve played in stadiums with 80,000-100,000 people, barely 14,000 can get in here. Imagine the big stand is also full, and then you don’t want to know what’s going on here.”
Water Franken (Racing Genk): “We took a good lead in the first half, only two penalty kicks can be reported for Antwerp. Brian (Heinen, ed.) hits the ball first on his body, then on his hand. I don’t want to get into too much, otherwise I might get myself into trouble.”
“After the break, we are concerned about an individual fatal foul, and you are not allowed to commit that at this stage of the competition. Then the last and penultimate swipes aren’t clean enough, you’re clearly having trouble playing an organization out of context. Losing first place doesn’t change much in the players’ minds. The ranking interests us only on June 4th. “
Press conference and feedback after Antwerp Genk:
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