Sunday 24 October 2021 15:30

Antwerp and Club Brugge share the points

The top game of matchday twelve was the match between Antwerp and Club Brugge. The hosts opened the scoring with a header by Björn Engels, but Hans Vanaken equalised on the stroke of half-time. No goals in the second half, but two red cards for each side. At the death of the match Simon Mignolet saved Club a point with a great reflex save.

On Tuesday the blue and black were mostly chasing the ball against Manchester City, but there needn't to be drawn to many conclusions from that match. Coach Philippe Clement changed his starting eleven in just two places: captain Ruud Vormer returned to the side and Ignace Van der Brempt saw his good stint as a sub rewarded with a starting place.

Mats Rits and Kamal Sowah were on the bench. Former Club Brugge player Björn Engels started the match for the home side.

Captain Ruud Vormer kreeg opnieuw zijn kans in de basis.
Captain Ruud Vormer kreeg opnieuw zijn kans in de basis.

The Bosuil stadium was ravaged by the storm earlier this week, but that had absolutely no effect on the atmosphere. The match started lively with Club immediately pushing forward, but without carving out good opportunities and gradually Antwerp restored the balance. The home side created a first good chance after ten minutes when Gerkens latched onto a through ball and forced Mignolet into making a good save. After this fierce start, the tempo dropped and both teams struggled to create a solid chance.

Hans Vanaken met de belangrijke gelijkmaker op slag van rust.
Hans Vanaken met de belangrijke gelijkmaker op slag van rust.

Half an hour into the game Club tried to dictate the pace of the game again. It was mainly Lang and De Ketelaere who created a lot of movement and took initiative. The latter aimed at goal from an acute angle, but Butez was paying attention. Antwerp responded with an attempt by Benson, which was blocked by Nsoki. On that corner kick Antwerp broke the deadlock when Engels rose high to meet with the corner kick and head in.

The blue and black needed some time to recover from this, but just before the half-time whistle Vormer curled one towards the top corner and it was just tipped away by Butez. Stoppage time and there was the equaliser. A corner kick from Vormer took a deflection on De Ketelaere, which diverted the ball's path into the feet of Vanaken who couldn't miss from close range: 1-1.

After it was Antwerp again with the initiative and De Laet taking up a prominent role, both in attacking an defensive way. First he was thwarted twice with a last-ditch tackle, then he prevented Club from taking the lead by heading away De Ketelaere's strike on the goalline.

Just like in the first half, after the bright restart, the tempo of the match dropped. Lots of duels and a lot of effort, but few chances. Club, however, was still the dominant side.

Club were increasingly getting stronger and especially Lang proved a scourge for the home side's defence. After a great dribble he fired at goal, but his effort took a deflection on a defender and resulted in a corner kick. Later he found Dost in front of goal, but the attacker couldn't make a clear contact and the header went wide.

On minute 82 Van der Brempt was first on the ball and was headed towards Butez, before he was brought down by Engels and the defender was sent off with a straight red card. Antwerp were down to ten for the remainder of the match. Club couldn't take advantage and were down to ten as well when Nsoki was booked a second time.

Simon Mignolet redde op het eind een punt voor Club.
Simon Mignolet redde op het eind een punt voor Club.

Antwerp had one final, great chance in stoppage time. Seck's powerful header on a corner kick was tipped over the bar by Mignolet - what a save!

As espected, it was an intense game with two teams going forward and creating chances. Club were the dominant side in the second half, but needed a good reflex save by Mignolet at the death to take one point home. After this draw, newly promoted side Union leads the pack. On Wednesday Club entertain Deinze for the Belgian cup.


Jupiler Pro League – Fixture 12
Attendance: 12.975 - Bosuilstadion
Referee: Nathan Verboomen

Antwerp FC: Jean Butez – Ritchie De Laet (c), Björn Engels, Dinis Almeida, Sam Vines – Birger Verstraete (46’ Pierre Dwomoh), Alhassan Yusuf, Pieter Gerkens – Michel-Ange Balikwisha (71’ Mbwana Samatta), Manuel Benson (85’ Abdoulaye Seck), Michael Frey (82’ Johannes Eggestein).
Bank: Ortwin De Wolf, Johannes Eggestein, Dorian Dessoleil, Abdoulaye Seck, Jelle Bataille, Mbwana Samatta, Pierre Dwomoh.
Coach: Brian Priske.

Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet – Clinton Mata, Jack Hendry, Stanley Nsoki, Eduard Sobol (55’ Faitout Maouassa)– Éder Balanta (55’ Noah Mbamba), Ruud Vormer (c), Hans Vanaken – Ignace Van der Brempt, Noa Lang, Charles De Ketelaere (65’ Bas Dost).
Bench: Senne Lammens, Nick Shinton, Faitout Maouassa, Brandon Mechele, Federico Ricca, Noah Mbamba, Mats Rits, Bas Dost, José Izquierdo, Kamal Sowah. 
Coach: Philippe Clement.

Yellow cards: Mata, Engels, De Laet, Balanta, Nsoki
Red cards: Engels, Nsoki
Goals: 35’ Engels (1-0), 45+2’ Vanaken (1-1)

Report - Tom Mannens

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