I’ve decided to blog random bits of history, whether it be about the Belgian Pro League, the second tier, European competition or The Belgian Cup (Beker van Belgie). The reason I’ve thought up this segment is not only to educate myself about the past, but to anyone who reads this, if anyone actually does, and to see that Belgian football isn’t about 1 or 2 teams, or the odd great player produced quite regularly actually, and that teams in the past competed and that the impossible is sometimes possible.
I didn’t know which way to go here. Either the first ever winners, which I strongly considered, or remind anyone who reads this who lasts years cup winners were. Standard Liege faced league champions Club Brugge in a final where if it were this season, I think it’d be a different outcome.
Both teams had similarly easy matches leading up to the final in regards to opposition, with Brugge playing away at Patro Eisden Massmechelen (II), tearing into them with a 4-0 win, a home tie against 2012 and 2014 winners Lokeren with a 1-0 victory, a more comfortable away win at Westerlo, winning 2-0 and then a two legged semi final against Gent.
Standard, however, made lighter work of their opponents throughout their run to the final. Other than making hard work against Coxyde (II) winning 3-2 away, they then went on to win 2-0 in the next two rounds in home ties against St Truiden and Kortrijk respectively, before drawing Genk in the semi final.
Standard Liege, again, didn’t exactly ease to the final, but proved to do better than their future finalists, winning 3-1 on aggregate, including another 2-0 home win. Whereas Club Brugge needed away goals to progress to the final, drawing 2-2 on aggregate.
Club Brugge were no strangers to the Croky Cup. Not only are they the most successful club in the competition, they were the reigning cup holders, beating Anderlecht the year before, whereas Standard Liege were participating in their first final since the 2010/11 season, defeating Westerlo.
This was the first time these 2 had met in the final since the 2006/07 season, where Brugge won the day 1-0. Standard were out to get revenge, and it started perfectly, with Jean-Luc Dompé netting on 17 minutes. The lead didn’t last for long, as Lior Rafaelov pegged back Les Rouches to make it 1-1 ten minutes later.
Going into half time 1-1, both teams were even, until Standard got a huge boost. Abdoulaye Diaby received a straight red card on the 51st, giving Liege the upper hand for the rest of the match and even extra time. With the clock ticking extra time looked a massive possibility entering the last 5 minutes, until Croatian striker Ivan Santini stole the show in the 88th minute!
A massive win for a club who had a bit of a barren run trophy wise leading up to the match and the winner was scored just at the right time.
Leading into this weeks Beker Van Belgie, it goes to show anything can happen. This is Zulte Waregem’s 3rd final in their current formation, whereas Oostende have never participated in the Belgian Cup Final. For the romantics they may want De Kustboys to come out victorious, but for me, I just want a great final, and with 2 of the top 5 playing, I’m sure that’s what we’ll get!
Til next time