Club and Genk share the spoils (1-1)
In a game between the two Belgian Champions League representatives, Club Brugge and KRC Genk kept each other in balance. At the brink of half time, Simon Deli headed in Club's well-deserved lead, but leaving a number of opportunities unmarked, Club suffered the 1-1 from a deflected Heynen free kick.
Two changes to the team that had made it to the CL Group Stages on Wednesday: Brandon Mechele came on for Matej Mitrović in the heart of midfield, while Percy Tau took up where Loïs Openda left. This allowed David Okereke to move back to the centre of attack. Federico Ricca remained at left back after his maiden start against LASK on Wednesday.
A fiery Blauw-Zwart went full throttle from kick-off, culminating in a goal in the first minute, were it not for the post preventing Okereke to finish off a solid solo run down the left. Club pinned Genk against its goal, leading to a number of chances: Diatta's shot went over off Okereke, attempts by Okereke and Tau were blocked, and Coucke stood ground as Vormer went his way for goal. Genk had little or nothing to say, apart from an Ito cross not met by Samatta.
The hosts were in clear command, but failed to translate it to the score line. An intricate passing move ended up with Tau, who aimed his shot just wide, while Mignolet was called upon to deny Ito's shot. Just when Genk seemed to be restoring the balance, Club finally made its way to the back of the nets. Vormer's firm free kick from the right wing was eagerly met by Simon Deli, powerfully heading it in to make it a thoroughly deserved 1-0. Moments later, Diatta came inches short of tapping in a cross, and Okereke saw his goal denied due to a hand ball. Genk's best chance arrived with seconds on the clock, but Samatta's shot whizzed past.
No changes after the break, with Club pushing to get that second. In a matter of minutes, Club had three massive opportunities: Vormer chipped the Genk defense after the ball was cleared, but his genius effort ended against the crossbar, Vanaken's header went wide, and a briliant pass by Vormer was deviated just wide of target by Okereke. Another chance followed some ten minutes later, but Vormer was unable to make the most of Ricca's fine cross.
Unable to kill the visitors off, Blauw-Zwart saw Genk coming. Attempts by Paintsil and Ndongala went wide, but halfway through the second half the score was in balance. Samatta's dribble ended getting fouled just outside the box, only to see Heynen curl in the free kick, albeit deflected off Vanaken. Club was taken aback, as two fine chances followed for the visitors: Samatta's first went wide, while Mignolet had a great save in store to deny the latter on the break.
Bringing on Dennis and Openda, Philippe Clement threw his final chips on the table. Goalkeeper Coucke denied Dennis, while Openda's shot was blocked later on. In a tense final minutes of the game, Samatta headed an effort just wide, while Ito also saw his shot end up on the wrong side of the post. 1-1 it was, keeping Club from getting hold of first place again.
Jupiler Pro League – Match Day 6
Audience: 28,000 – Jan Breydel Stadium
Ref: Mr. Erik Lambrechts
Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet – Clinton Mata, Brandon Mechele, Simon Deli, Federico Ricca (72’ Eduard Sobol) – Mats Rits, Ruud Vormer, Hans Vanaken – Krépin Diatta, David Okereke (83’ Loïs Openda), Percy Tau (70’ Emmanuel Dennis). Bank: Ethan Horvath, Amadou Sagna, Matej Mitrović and Siebe Schrijvers. Coach: Philippe Clement.
KRC Genk: Gaëtan Coucke – Casper De Norre, Sébastien Dewaest, Jhon Lucumi, Jere Uronen – Bryan Heynen, Sander Berge, Jacub Piotrowski (46’ Patrik Hrosovsky) – Junya Ito, Ally Samatta (94’ Paul Onuachu), Joseph Paintsil (61’ Dieumerci Ndongala). Coach: Felice Mazzu.
Yellow: Piotrowski, Okereke, Berge, Ndongala, Samatta, Dennis.
Goals: 41’ Deli (1-0), 67’ Vanaken (owngoal, 1-1).
Text: Steven Floin (sv)