Most cup finals in any country can be either tense encounters, runaway victories or a plucky underdog story. March 18th 2017 was the date where KV Oostende participated in their first Croky Cup final against one time winners Zulte Waregem. Around 35,000 witnessed a pretty eventful final which served up goals, fantastic individual performances, extra time and penalties.
The drama started 18 minutes in as Landry Nany Dimata netted to give De Kustboys an early lead. He has been so impressive this season and showed that the occasion never came over him, and instead rose and made it 1-0.
That said, it meant that Zulte, who themselves overall have played well throughout this season had to respond and that they did. Timothy Derijck, summer signing on a free transfer replied to even the score. It must’ve been emotional for him as he hasn’t played since January through a prolonged knee injury, repaying the faith put in him by Francky Dury.
Going into half time, it showed both teams came to win rather than to not lose, and that attitude was shown once again in the second half. Nany Dimata, who showed no fear throughout, doubled his tally and sent Oostende into dreamland 9 minutes into the second half.
Again however, Zulte Waregem showed real character and hit back once again through another youngster and substitute Sander Coopman. Fantastic awareness as well as endeavour as he chased down a poor headed back pass to slot home the equaliser 10 minutes after Dimata’s second.
Into extra time it just looked as if neither team would give up regardless of who’d grab a potential winner, and after a goalless first half, the other inspired attacking sub from Dury, Babacar Gueye looked to have stolen the win 9 minutes from time.
This was the first time Oostende were behind in the final and had to show real determination with time running out. Unfortunately Zulte may have shown more as a penalty was awarded 4 minutes from time. With real pressure to stay in the final, my PP for KV Oostende Knowledge Musona dispatched the penalty, and with that took it to a shoot out.
The cruliest of ways to settle a match, nobody ever wants to be the one who could ruin the day for thousands of fans, but with that theres always a hero, and for the purpose of this, the hero was certainly Sammy Bossut. In his 10th year at the club, he proved his worth saving 2 penalties and winning the Cup for Zulte Waregem for a second time! Jubilant scenes within the stadium as the cup was lifted, and I’m sure the celebrations went long into the night!
Congratulations Zulte Waregem