Racing Genk 0-2 Club Brugge: Bacca and Gudjohnsen ensure Club bounce back
Goals from Club Brugge’s two biggest attacking stars – Carlos Bacca and Eidur Gudjohnsen – saw them respond to their midweek loss to Zulte Waregem with a 0-2 away win against Racing Genk.
Juan Carlos Garrido again had to shuffle his pack with Laurens De Bock replacing Fredrik Stenman and Ryan Donk beginning at centreback. Enoch Adu and Jesper Jørgensen featured in midfield and Eidur Gudjohnsen was given time to indulge in his least favourite activity – bench warming. Kalidou Koulibaly started at centre-half while again Gorius was joined by both Hyland and Kumordzi in midfield. Jelle Vossen was fit enough to start after some concerns during the week.
Club Brugge have scored more than anyone else in the opening stages this season and they should have opened the scoring in the opening five minutes. Jørgensen put Bacca in the clear with an enterprising through ball but the top scorer allowed the ball to run across him and when he hesitated once more, Tshimanga took the opportunity to sweep up.
Both leftbacks were booked in the opening quarter-hour with De Bock in particular walking a tightrope given the fact he had already been sent off twice in his short Club Brugge career. History was to repeat itself later in the piece. Jelle Vossen came close to breaking the deadlock when he shot wide and though he was doing a good job of stretching Club’s defence, those behind him needed to up their game.
Club Brugge took the lead halfway through the first half. Lestienne played the ball inside to Bacca. He turned away from his marker and found Jørgensen, who bided his time before returning the ball to the Colombian, who this time showed why he wears the golden bull on his back. Bacca found the top corner of the net with a first time rocket to atone for his earlier miss.
Gorius had a header tipped over by Kujovic but Genk went into the break a goal down – Tshimanga summed it up perfectly when he observed that there wasn’t enough movement from his team in the final third, which made it easier for Club to defend against. Mario Been decided to tilt the balance of his team a little more towards attack by introducing supersub Glynor Plet for Kumordzi.
Genk began the second half with more purpose with Buffel almost getting on the end of a Gorius free kick and Vossen heading tamely on target but were unable to force the equaliser. Monrose was having a particularly frustrating time on the left flank as his pace and power was not matched by his poor crossing and questionable decision making.
Bacca spurned another wonderful opportunity on 70 minutes when Simaeys handed him a one-on-one with Köteles on a plate. This time, he managed to shoot but his effort with the outside of the right foot was pitifully weak and the Hungarian goalkeeper was not tested. Moments later, a shot from Gorius was comfortably held by Kujovic.
Although Garrido brought Høgli on for Lestienne, Club Brugge continued to create chances and all of them were falling to Bacca. He breached a rather lazy offside trap and volleyed against the crossbar from outsid the box before another effort was beaten away by Köteles. With Club Brugge unable to press home the advantage, their lead became ever more slender when Laurens De Bock picked up a second yellow for his third red card in eight Club Brugge appearances – a statistic that is all the more worse when you consider he’s one of the biggest transfers in Belgian football history.
The nerves were calmed and the three points sealed late on when substitute Gudjohnsen kept his cool and stroked the ball home past Köteles having been cleverly played in by Vadis. This defeat is a blow for Genk but keeps Club Brugge in contention for a Champions League spot. It also does Zulte Waregem and Anderlecht a favour and they play later this evening.
PO1: Anderlecht* 39, Zulte Waregem* 37, Standard Liège 35, Racing Genk 35, Club Brugge 34, Lokeren 30.
* denotes having played a game less.