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JPL Round 2: The Pro League gets shirty

KV Oostende 0-2 Anderlecht

KV Kortrijk 2-3 Standard Liège
Racing Genk 1-1 Cercle Brugge
Charleroi 2-3 Westerlo
Royal Mouscron Péruwelz 1-0 Waasland-Beveren

Lokeren 2-1 Zulte Waregem
Club Brugge 1-0 Lierse
KAA Gent 3-1 KV Mechelen

KV Oostende 0-2 Anderlecht

In the end Axelle didn’t give the kick off but Zakaria Bakkali and ex-Club and Gent boss Trond Sollied were in the stands. Anderlecht began nervously with ex-Mauve Sébastien Siani marshalling the KVO midfield and it was a lacklustre opening 45 minutes. The champions opened the scoring just before the hour when Dennis Praet slid the ball through to Aleksandar Mitrovic, who powered the ball home past Ovono. Siani missed a good chance to equalise but substitute Matias Suárez showed his class in stoppage time when he jinked between two defenders before guiding the ball under the goalkeeper to secure the three points.

KV Kortrijk 2-3 Standard Liège

Guy Luzon’s much-maligned rotation policy was in full effec with an eye on the Champions League qualifier against Panathinaikos in mid-week. The match farcically began ten minutes late after a divot had not been repaired in time. Kortrijk punished some shoddy Standard defending, as Zarko Tomasevic diverted his header past Kawashima from a corner. Eiji Kawashima kept les Rouches in the game when he saved Ivan Santini’s penalty and they went into half-time level after a stunning Astrit Ajdarevic strike from distance.

Kortrijk emerged from the tunnel in their change blue shirts as the colour-blind Thomas Matton couldn’t distinguish Kortrijk’s red from Standard’s black! Captain Jelle van Damme and Geoffrey Mujangi Bia came on for Standard and the latter made an instant impact, playing through Yannis Mbombo who made it 1-2. Gertjan De Mets slid home the equaliser after a good Kortrijk move but Yves Vanderhaeghe will have to wait for his first point as boss as Mujangi Bia won it for Standard with a late penalty. Tony Watt, who drew the foul, also had an encouraging debut as a second-half substitute.

Racing Genk 1-1 Cercle Brugge

After a turbulent week in Limburg, the game may have come as a relief to interim boss Pierre Denier who handed a debut to Georgian international Okri and centreback Christian Kabasele from the start. Dutch goalkeeper Marco Bizot showed both sides of his game, making a fine save to deny Bacelic-Grgic before later rushing out of his goal and missing the ball, allowing the Croat to roll the ball home. It was another goalkeeping error that would salvage a point as the veteran Thomas Buffel scored with Olivier Werner out of position. Okri’s creativity and running between the lines was a positive to take away from the game. Sporting director Gunter Jacob expects a new coach by the end of next week.

Charleroi 2-3 Westerlo

Charleroi lost their second game in as many weeks after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Westerlo, who have enjoyed a dream return to the top division. Les Zèbres opened up what should have been an unassailable lead thanks to a tap-in from the returning Cédric Fauré and a strike from fellow forward Kitambala, who capitalised on some awful defending. Enter former Charleroi man Mohammad Aoulad, who was clearly playing with a point to prove. Not only did he score twice, including with a relatively uncoordinated overhead kick, he tormented both fullbacks and also hit the post with a free kick. As if that wasn’t enough, he played his part in the third when his cross was punched straight to Gounongbe by Mandanda, who paid the price for his poor handling.

Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz 1-0 Waasland-Beveren

Newly-promoted RMP won their first top flight game at home as they built on the encouraging signs from the previous week’s defeat to Anderlecht. Last week’s villain was the hero as Abdoulay Diaby powered the winning goal home on the half-hour after good work from the impressive ex-Guingamp winger Steeven Langil, who looks to be a shrewd acquisition. Waasland-Beveren manager Ronny van Geneugden was understandably unhappy after his side’s weak performance and he’ll be hoping the signing of David Destorme from Mechelen will do the trick as he looks for more of a threat going forward.

Lokeren 2-1 Zulte Waregem

It was a stunning start for Junior Dutra who replaced the departed Hamdi Harbaoui as the Brazilian scored with a sensational overhead kick inside 20 seconds. Lokeren spurned several chances to extend their lead as they exploited debutant rightback Sefa Isçi and Essevee leftback Bryan Verboom equalised with a smart finish on the stroke of half-time. However, Lokeren were not perturbed and they kept coming in the second half. Dutra netted what turned out to be the winner when he guided Vanaken’s cross into the bottom corner. Francky Dury cannot get his first-choice defence (Cissako and Colpaert were missing) back together soon enough and they head to Belarus in midweek hoping to save some face and avoid a third successive defeat in competitive games.

N.B. Lokeren played in their black away kit at home and Zulte Waregem in their desperate white away kit!

Club Brugge 1-0 Lierse

In truth, there was more to speak of before the game kicked off. Axelle turned up after snubbing KV Oostende and Lierse were forced to take the field in Club Brugge’s change orange strip after the referee deemed their bordeaux strip to clash.  It was a far from convincing win for Blauw-Zwart as they looked to have little in the tank following Thursday’s European win over Brøndby but a Lior Refaelov free kick on the stroke of half-time was enough to ensure Club win their first two games and are the only side yet to concede a goal this season.

KAA Gent 3-1 KV Mechelen

The final episode in the weekend’s series of comedy capers came when KV Mechelen goalkeeper Tomislav Pacovski was forced to wear a Gent goalkeeping shirt! The visitors were by far the better side in the opening 45 and led at the break through a Kosanovic penalty. Laurent Depoitre, surprisingly preferred to David Pollet, took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second period. He equalised with a low shot past Pacovski, set up Benito Raman who turned the game on its head and added a volley late on to ease De Buffalo’s nerves and give Hein Vanhaezebrouck a first win in charge. The ex-Kortrijk boss is to be commended for his tactical change, dispensing with a third centreback and bringing on winger Yaya Soumahoro at the interval. They go to Sclessin next Sunday in what promises to be an exciting encounter.




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