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JPL Round 5: Genk beat Gent under McLeish’s gaze

Genk 3-2 Gent

Standard 2-2 Westerlo
Zulte Waregem 1-1 Mouscron-Peruwelz
Kortrijk 0-2 KV Oostende
Lierse 0-2 Charleroi

Anderlecht 1-0 Waasland-Beveren
KV Mechelen 3-1 Club Brugge
Cercle Brugge 1-0 Lokeren

Genk 3-2 Gent

New coach and surprise appointment Alex McLeish got a glimpse of what he has to work with as Genk notched their first win of the season with a shock 3-2 win over much fancied Gent. Gent look to finally have their ship in order and with Genk sinking fast it seemed like there would only be one winner in this contest. Vossen missed out through injury but the home side braved the terrible weather to go 1-0 up through Sekhou Cisse’s nice turn and volley. Mboyo soon made it 2-0 with a first time shot and McLeish was probably thinking he was in for a pretty easy job, Genk looking like a team reborn. Things then unravelled. Dejaegere fired home a minute later to drag Gent back into the match and then just four minutes after going 2-0 up, Genk were pegged back as Milicevic curled in a beautiful free kick that Koteles could do little about. Okriashvili scored the winner, the impressive Georgian filling in nicely for the missing Vossen and converting from close range to give Genk a much needed win.

Standard 2-2 Westerlo

Any pre-season illusions Standard may have had this would be an easy match would have been well and truly banished when Standard’s stuttering, injury ravaged start coincided with a great first few games Westerlo that sees the newly promoted side yet to lose. Still smarting after seeing their once golden son Steven Defour join arch rivals Anderlecht, the fans inside Sclessin were soon bemoaning some lacklustre defending as Aoulad’s cross found Gounongbe and the Westerlo striker smartly scored inside five minutes. Utility man Laurent Ciman, who was playing right back in this match having also turned out in centre midfield and defence for Standard, hit the post after a surging run. Jeff Louis had Standard back on level terms as he got free in the box. Gounongbe soon had Westerlo back in front as Van Damme’s offisde trap was futile and a smart through ball from Aoulad left Gounongbe with an easy second. Igor De Camargo got Standard back level before Van Damme hit the post with a header. Annys was then sent off for what can only be called a fantastic save, his effort proving worthwhile as Mpoku smashed the crossbar with his penalty. 10 minutes later he had a chance to redeem himself, a second penalty awarded but a second penalty missed leaving Standard as the new penalty jokers, taking Anderlecht’s previous title.

Zulte Waregem 1-1 Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz

Also enjoying a great start to the season following promotion are Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz who were denied late by Zulte Waregem. Zulte Waregem actually enjoyed the better opening spell but after Bossut failed to hold onto Badri’s shot it was an easy fourth goal of the season for Diaby who tapped in the rebound. The away side were reduced to ten men when Delacourt’s reckless challenge earned him an immediate sending off. Zulte Waregem proceeded to squander a host of chances, Sylla in particular thinking it wasn’t his day having come on at half time. Controversial character Messoudi made his debut after Colpaert limped off after going down under innocuous circumstances. You got the feeling it would take something special for Zulte Waregem to get back into the match and Chuks Aneke’s spectacular volley was just that as it smashed in off the underside of the crossbar with just one minute left. There was still time for some controversy as Karel D’Haene, seeing Diaby was through on goal, ruthlessly brought down the striker to ensure he could not score but saw himself get a red card for his troubles. Despite the cynical nature, there will be nobody affiliated with Zulte Waregem who won’t thank D’Haene for at least ensuring a point for the club.

Kortrijk 0-2 KV Oostende

Both teams have serious designs on finishing in the top six but KV Oostende seem to be the most likely now. Winning their last three without conceding ‘De Kustboys’ look like the complete package, their flowing attacking players backed up by competent defending. Both teams looked like potentially winning the match early on, Coulibaly the focal point of Oostende’s attack with the usual suspects, Canesin, Berrier and Ruiz, providing the support. Kortrijk, by contrast, had players who could threaten across the attack – Marusic, Santini and Chevalier all capable but perhaps lacking that cohesion that serves Oostende so well. It was no surprise when the deadlock was finally broken by Coulibaly, converting a Berrier cross from close range after a nice Oostende passing move. Chevalier had a chance to equalise but his refusal to use his left foot cost him dearly and moments later Coulibaly scored from a tight angle to double Oostende’s lead. It moves Vanderbiest’s men up into the top six and lays down the marker that they are serious Play Off 1 contenders this season.

Lierse 0-2 Charleroi

Sporting Charleroi turned their fortunes around in drastic fortune with a somewhat unlikely victory over Lierse. Lierse have relied on the goals of Keita so far this season but it was Charleroi’s French striker Kitambala who finally found his scoring boots. After a goalless first half it was seeming that it would end up a close match, Charleroi still hunting for their first win and Lierse looking to consign relegation battles to the past – but after a defensive mix up in the Lierse goal, Kitambala sumptuously lobbed the goalkeeper to get his first goal. He doubled his tally, and Charleroi’s lead a few minutes later and after five games no one is any the wiser as to who will be Play Off 1 contenders at the end of the season and who will be fighting relegation.

Anderlecht 1-0 Waasland-Beveren

There was a lot of fanfare about Steven Defour’s debut but it was a match to forget as Anderlecht laboured to a win over the defensive Waasland-Beveren. Buoyed by the huge addition to their squad, the added creative outlet wasn’t too evident as Anderlecht stuttered all over the park with no one seemingly able to inspire a win. There was a lot of industry on the wings from Kabasele and Praet but Waasland-Beveren’s resolute defending, often getting ten men behind the ball in a stubborn 4-1-4-1 formation. It was 0-0 at half time, despite Anderlecht’s constant possession but they finally got the breakthrough in the second half when Defour’s corner was flicked on by Nuytinck and Kabasele scored from close range. It was hard fought but Anderlecht will be relieved to end the round 3 points clear at the top of the table as the search for a fourth title in a row.

Mechelen 3-1 Club Brugge

Club Brugge slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat against Mechelen as the home side overturned a 1-0 deficit to run out big winners. With Maxime Lestienne on his way to Qatar and Victor Vazquez blowing hot then cold, it will soon fall to Nikola Storm and Tuur Dierckx to create the majority of Club Brugge’s chances. Taking a lead from a calm Timmy Simons penalty there was no sign of things to come. Mechelen worked their way back into the match and Veselinovic scored his own penalty before seeing his header well saved by goalkeeper Mat Ryan. The tall striker was making himself a nuisance but it was Cordaro who gave the home side the lead, reacting to his blocked shot the quickest to fire in a vicious left footed shot. Claes added a late third and to ensure an emphatic win and stop a run of three defeats for Malinwa.

Cercle Brugge 1-0 Lokeren

Peter Maes’ side were surprisingly beaten as Cercle Brugge finally clicked into gear and registered a league win. Cercle have had a tough start to the season but managed draws with rivals Club Brugge as well as Genk and Gent and a narrow defeat to KV Oostende. Their tough start continued on Sunday against Lokeren but a Junior Kabananga goal saw them prevail. Obviously Lokeren’s midweek Europa League victory over Hull saw the team tired, but with a 1-0 lead to take to England this week a brief slip in the league will be forgiven if they can return to Belgium with an English Premier League scalp.




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