After finally having the chance to look at the highlights in the Pro League so far this weekend, Zulte Waregem, no matter how mediocre their opponents have been, have taken advantage of their relatively easy start and have impressed me. They’ve taken control and advantage in their matches sweeping STVV and Eupen away.
The last match of the Saturday fixtures saw ESSEVEE finally take all three points in the end. After a goalless first half, Sint Truiden lost Damien Dussaut to a second yellow card. Whether or not that actually made the difference in the outcome, we’ll never know. But what we do know is that Zulte Waregem immediately made their one man advantage count. Michael Heylen opened the scoring three minutes after that red card.
In all honesty, Zulte Waregem dominated all the best chances, and were clinical from set pieces. A soft handball which led to the penalty which sealed the match didn’t matter to Zulte fans, as Leya Isaka dispatched the penalty in a cool fashion. Six points, seven scored and none conceded, Francky Dury will take this fine start and hope to build off of it.
The first match of the day saw a 7 goal thriller…wait, erm…could say rout, but is 5-2 a rout? Anyway, Charleroi comfortably saw off Mouscron at the Stade Cannonier. I tweeted saying ‘3-0. Job done’ just before Bolongi snuck in a nervous penalty on the stroke of half time. But before that, an own goal from Bruno Godeau, a weird goal by Lukebakio and another penalty by Pollet looked to have wrapped the game up! But VAR came into play with the Mouscron penalty, although in real time I thought it was a penalty, the replay actually made it look less convincing.
At half time a Mouscron fan tweeted me saying ‘3 goals from 2 shots’ which is true, but I wasn’t sure if that was sarcasm or bitterness at the abject performance? But things didn’t get better for Mouscron as Lukebakio and Dessoleil sealed the win by the hour. Poor goalkeeping by Nicolas Penneteau allowed a 25 yard strike go through him by Govea Garcia but that was that really! Another team on maximum points in Les Zèbres.
Beveren welcomed Mechelen in a match of well taken goals, but poor defensive errors did help. Three unmark strikes til, in my opinion, a poor free kick which went all the way in saw a 2-2 draw.
Ryota Morioka with a goal in either half could’ve been effective if Beveren could hold onto a lead, but Mats Rits saw that Mechelen would remain undefeated with an excellent run seeing nobody pick him up, striking home the finish nice and swiftly, before his late free kick was over hit, but Merveille Goblet didn’t seem to deal with it at all. His reaction showed his disappointment.
Both teams end with 2 matches and 2 draws to their name. Waasland Beveren are probably the happier regarding the opposition, and Mechelen may feel likewise with how the matches planned out!
Kortrijk took their first three points with a home win over Lokeren. A 13th minute winner by Christophe Lepoint settled the match at the Guldensporenstadion. Lokeren still without a point or a goal, I really believed with their transfer business they would do better, but it is still early days. However, 5 goals conceded and none scored in 2 matches could be a problem of this form continues!
Lastly, Friday night saw one of the matches of the season so far in terms of fixture, with Standard Liege hosting Genk! And Genk took the lead through Siebe Scrijvers with a fine solo effort, sneaking the finish in at the front post. Standard had to show grit as this was the second game in a row where they’d fallen behind, and that character showed in the second half. Another weird goal, with weak goalkeeping saw Edmilson score just after half time, until a fine effort from Paul-Jose Mpoku lashed in a fine winner on the night.
Genk haven’t gotten into gear so far,and a slow start is what ruined their season last term, so Albert Stuivenberg will hope to get things going sooner rather than later!