Europa League: Genk stun Dynamo Kyiv
We take a quick look back at the three Europa League games involving Belgian clubs.
Dynamo Kyiv 0-1 Racing Genk
All too often, we see Belgian teams on the wrong end of shock results, as we’ll touch on later, which made it all the more pleasant a surprise to see Genk winning away in Kyiv. Both sides had chances in the first half, with Mboyo a threat for the visitors before he went off injured just after the half-hour. It was his replacement Julien Gorius who netted what would be the winner. Vossen stepped over Camus’ ball and the ex-Mechelen midfielder found the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Dynamo went all out for an equaliser and Köteles produced a stunning save to foil Yarmolenko right at the death. Afterwards, Gorius said it was the most beautiful goal of his career and that this win ranks above those over Sporting CP and FC Basel last season.
Zulte Waregem 0-0 Wigan
A case of what might have been for Essevee, who were the better side in their adopted Jan Breydelstadion in Brugge. As is customary, they upped their game after a dull first half and laid siege to the Wigan goal in the closing stages. McArthur had hit the post for the Latics in the early stages and they began their first ever European game with composure. Zulte Waregem were hampered by the lack of Malanda in midfield even if the youngster had a fine game at centreback. The best chance for Essevee fell to Karel D’Haene from six yards out but he was denied by a heroic block from McCann. Wigan took 2500 fans to Belgium and should be proud both of their team’s determination and their travelling fans. It was a disappointing result for Essevee but they will nevertheless feel qualification from the group is a distinct possibility.
Standard Liège 1-2 Esbjerg
Guy Luzon’s rotation trick fell flat on its face as Danish outfit Esbjerg were the architects of yet another sensational result, having knocked out Saint-Etienne to reach the group stages. Scoreless at the interval, Dutch striker Mick van Buren stunned a less than half-full Sclessin with a magnificent diving header from thirteen yards out to break the deadlock. Substitute Geoffrey Mujangi Bia equalised two minutes after coming on with a fizzing strike into the bottom corner. However, Esbjerg snatched the three points in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Mushaga Bakenga – on loan from Club Brugge – placed his right-footed shot beyond Kawashima. Bakenga called the goal “his personal revenge against Belgium”, telling HLN that Club never rated him or gave him a fair crack of the whip despite his obvious talent. If there is scope to do so, Preud’homme should recall him in January. The best way for Luzon to answer criticism of his rotation system is for his side to go out and beat Lokeren this Sunday.