Basic title but hey, this post is exactly what it is really. On a freezing night, things were so fast paced that Standard looked vibrant and started fantastically well with a throw in deep in Eupen territory, thrown to Razvan Marin, who easily skipped past the defender and floated a great ball for Ishak Belfodil to run across his main and powerfully direct his header in. The simplest of starts after just 3 minutes.
Going into the second half, Eupen started brightly and we’re back on level terms on the 54th minute where they worked the ball from right to left, and a low but deep cross managed to find its way to Jean Amani whos cross-shot managed to rebound off on loan defender Constantinos Laifis and past Jean-Francois Gillet.
The turnaround was complete when Gillet’s initial clearance only reached the half way line and after a couple of passes, Eupen’s number 22, Siebe Blondelle, played a fine through ball for another loanee, Mamadou Sylla, currently from Espanol, tucked away his chance to make it 2-1.
Eupen looked like they recorded a fantastic win going into the weekend when a hit and hope from the half way line from skipper Alexander Scholz bobbled towards the Eupen box, until a mix up between Peter Hackenberg and keeper Hendrik van Crombrugge invited Belfodil to gamble and prod home to tie this topsy turvy match. Replays showed that Scholz looked displeased with his ball as he turned away with disgust, only to then be pleasantly surprised.
This upcoming weekend fixtures start Friday night with a BIG fixture as 5th place Charleroi host 3rd placed Zulte-Waregem which is a fitting curtain raiser to the weekends proceedings. Both winning this week means momentum will want to be kept for both sides going forward.
Saturday’s matches are also all equally competitive with one place separating 6 sides in 3 of the matches. The odd one out being St Truiden hosting Oostende with the home side, and their new loan signing Igor Vetokele hoping to continue their immediate current form against an Oostende side potentially finishing the campaign in an uneventful fashion. But then it’s 11th vs 10th (Kortrijk vs Lokeren), 14th vs 15th (Beveren vs Westerlo) and 7th vs 8th (Mechelen vs Genk). All finely poised and sure to be majorly competitive with a relegation 6 pointer included!
And Sunday, concluding a massively busy week for the Jupiler Pro League will sure to be fiery with a tricky away game for leaders Club Brugge who travel to Gent and bottom side Mouscron vs Eupen which is another relegation 6 pointer! But quietly snuck between the 2 matches on Sunday is the small matter of Anderlecht vs Standard Liege, where in my opinion red may not only be seen on the Standard home shirt, but maybe being pulled from the referee’s pocket.
A captivating weekend it is sure to be and I’ll end with the question…Will Zulte-Waregem still a march on the chasers with a win two days before the other title rivals kick a ball?