In the final game of the season, KRC Genk travelled to KV Oostende in a match where winner takes all. A win meant Europa League football next season, which brings in better players and the possibility of more money!
This match looked even to me on form. Even though Genk seemed unstoppable in their play off group, I tried not to be blinded by that and tried to think of it as being more even. The thing is…I was wrong. And not wrong in Genk’s favour. Oostende were very good and too good for De Smurfen in the end.
This was proven in the first half where Joseph Akpala opened the scoring with some help from Franck Berrier with an assist. And with that goal, Oostende saw blood and struck again through the experienced Czech David Rozenhal. With the score 2-0 I thought just defend and see the game out with 45 minutes between them and European football.
However, Siebe Schrivers stroked home a penalty to halve the deficit just before the break, changing both managers team talks in the process and maybe, willing Genk back into the game!
Stuivenberg decided to swap Malinovskiy for Heynan in a bid to go more attacking possibly? But just 6 minutes into the second half, sloppy play from Genk led to a breakaway by Oostende where Musona hit the bar! With the ball still in play, Oostende picked up the loose ball where a deflected cross led to a tap in for Andile Jali. It looked like 3-1…game over…
The thing is thereafter, Oostende remained professional and looked likeliest to grab a fourth with plenty of time to play. And to be honest, the season the ‘seasiders’ have had with an heroic cup run AND finishing 4th, Europa League is well deserved over their 40+ game league season. And their fans deserve it too. The manager Yves Vanderhaeghe also extended his stay at the Versluys Arena til 2020 too so happy times for now on the east coast.
Genk have to go away and lick their wounds. The worry that Samatta and Pozuelo may be wanting European football could be a concern, amongst others maybe moving on. That’s a concern for the manager, but if they strengthen appropriately, a real push for the top 6 is definitely a possibility with the club’s support and stature, making this season a small blip with many highlights on top.