Once again, not one of my finest titles for a blog post, but I’ll recover…one day! Anyway, to the business at hand. Genk travel all the way East to the Belgian coast to play Oostende who’ll hope a win may not only salvage their season of some disappointments, but maybe improve the smiles on fans faces.
De Kustboys have all in all been very good this season. Finishing 4th in the play offs and finishing in the top 6 altogether is a fantastic achievement, especially with teams like Genk and Standard Liege finishing outside the top 6. And with the disappointment of losing on penalties to Zulte Waregem in the Croky Cup final, they’ll hope this final will go their way, especially as it’s at the Versluys Arena.
But Genk have been steamrolling all those in front of them. Their only disappointment over the past 3 months was their elimination from the Europa League to Celta Vigo. I’ve actually been quite bored talking up Racing this year when it comes to their league form as they have been unbelievably impressive. Their play off group in comparison to Oostende, well, there’s no comparison as it was so easy, but then again, would Oostende have destroyed all those in front of them just like Genk did?
Saturday was probably Genk’s toughest test since the regular season, with De Limburg derby against Sint Truiden, which yet again, they eased to a 3-0 home win. But Genk have been so good they are joint top on points won this calendar year in the regular season with champions Anderlecht. What if they had that form from July-December it may be ‘Champions Genk’?
With tonight’s opponents however, Genk haven’t won away at Oostende since 2004. De Kustboys were a different team completely then, not just because it’s thirteen years later, but in terms of stature and setup too. Oostende battered Genk 6-0 last time they met in the league, and Oostende also defeated Genk in the semi final of the cup this season too, which could prove a good omen for the hosts, even though De Smurfen just seem impregnable right now in every situation.
The thing which may hinder chances for Oostende is that Nany Dimata could be out injured for the match. The youngster has been superb and won the best young player of the season. Along with him missing, the team haven’t played for 9 days, with their last match being away at Anderlecht in a 3-2 defeat. They’ve had to stew on that for a while with no opportunities to bounce back. But the rest may have been needed in the build up to a match which may make this season an historic one!
A long season in Belgium with nearly a full year of football is no good for players in my opinion as quality and enthusiasm may drop. But with it leading up to this match for these two, one more push is all that is needed to play in Europe’s second competition, and with this season, it shows that the possibility of success could happen with the luck of the draw!