Four matches took place last night, and I was going to write this out last night, but I was absolutely knackered. This has been my only release from work recently, and thankfully, the Pro League hasn’t disappointed. With only one team on zero points, and it’s surprised me who that is, 2 teams grabbing their first wins, players scoring on their full debut and one team, who’ll I’ll start with, still has maximum points!
Charleroi have, again, managed to get 3 points in their amazing start to the season. I did think with a start against Kortrijk and Mouscron, those results would be comprehensive, but with the starts those 2 have had, they’ve been big 3 points in each. Then having Anderlecht and now Genk. Charleroi have been great in that they’ve kept 3 clean sheets out of those 4 matches and have shown battling qualities, which have brought luck too.
And that luck was shown yesterday. After a goalless first half, a throw in on the far side seemed to just carry…and carry, scuttling across the box for somebody to deal with until it deflected towards the goal. Firstly, I saw a notification it was Kaveh Rezaei with his first goal. I also saw it was an unfortunate own goal by Sander Berge. Regardless, Felice Mazzu was left smiling at the final whistle with another win!
Next were two teams at the other end of the scale. Eupen and Oostende were still pointless, and before yesterday, one was goalless too. For those who read these posts often, I do get my predictions wrong. I get the occasional one right, like Mbaye Leye being the perfect fit for Eupen, but I also said yesterday wouldn’t be his day. Unsurprisingly I was wrong there! This match was, for me, remembered for 3 fantastic assists, although the finishes were very decent too. Nine minutes in and Mbaye Leye powerfully headed home a great cross from Luis Garcia. Fantastic start for the Pandas.
Around thirty minutes later though, Michiel Jonckheere smartly half volleyed an equaliser after a knock down from 12 yards out, setting up a tense second half for both teams, eager for their first win. And somebody did grab that win. A superb through ball by Jean Amani cut through De Kustboys defence like a hot knife through butter and Eric Ocansey smartly finished to seal Eupen’s first win of the season. A tough start for Eupen where they’ve finally chipped away and got their first win. Oostende on the other hand could feel worried. No wins. One goal. Not the difficult start people would’ve thought before the season. Has European elimination knocked their confidence? Granted they are missing big players, but is Eupen away that much of a test?
Then to the Freethiel where the goal pigs sat and enjoyed, especially if you’re a Lokeren fan. A 3-0 half time lead would’ve had Peter Maes crowing at half time. Beveren have been great, up to this point, and with a toothless Lokeren coming to town, they’d have fancied their chances before kick off. Goals from Stefano Matzo, Marko Miric and Mehdi Terki, with a couple of assists thrown in by Samy Kehli for good measure, the match looked over.
Some inspirational words from Phillipe Clement must’ve been spoken,as Beveren didn’t give up. Ibrahima Seck pulled one back just before the hour. Then, Rudy Camacho struck with 20 minutes left to set up a fantastic finish. Ryota Morioka seemed to pick up 2 assists of his own, showing what a quality signing he has been so far too. But the come back wasn’t enough as Lokeren held out for a first win of the season. Beveren, who have been great so far this season will hope to bounce back this week, and maybe invest in a new striker this week, whereas Lokeren will aim to continue down the same road they were on this week to get to this win.
Lastly, to the AFAS Stadion where I was hoping for a good game first, and hopefully a performance from my Player Profile Stefan Drazic (who was subbed around the hour mark) but it took until the 67th minute when a Frederic Duplus deflected effort looped over the despairing Colin Coosemans into the top corner. Antwerp were looking good heading into the final minutes, but, setback happened when youngster Boureima Bande hit the killer blow, equalising, and swinging the pendulum back in Mechelen’s favour with three minutes left. Although to my surprise, the Great Old weren’t giving up, and Faris Haroun hot the winner! Ninety minutes on the clock when the 32 year old hit a big winner! Again, you can’t be anything but impressed with Antwerp’s resolve after last week’s poor performance against Genk, whereas Mechelen lose their first win and lose their first match in the process too.
Another great weekend in Belgium so far, including the fantastic 4-0 Friday night win by Zulte Waregem away to Standard Liege.
(All pictures courtesy of Getty Images)