Wednesday 11 May 2022 22:30

Club beats Union and edges towards Pro League title

A great day at the office for Club Brugge in the battle for the Jupiler Pro League title following the hard-fought 1-0 victory against Union. Tajon Buchanan's long-distance strike ended against the back of the net via Union goalkeeper Moris. Club is three points clear and can celebrate the title next Sunday at Antwerp!

Alfred Schreuder made two changes to the side that had won at the Dudenpark last Sunday. In the back Jack Hendry replaced the suspended Stanley Nsoki and Eduard Sobol played on the left-hand side. Charles De Ketelaere moved to the centre of attack, forcing Sargis Adamyan on the bench.

Sunday's defeat had clearly not affected the confidence of the Union players. Inside the opening minute Lazare forced Mignolet into making a good save from a sharp angle. A few minutes later a low strike from Lazare went wide.

Jack Hendry in duel met Vanzeir
Jack Hendry in duel met Vanzeir

It took Club some time to put their foot next to the visitors'. After twenty minutes that led to a first good chance for Club when Sobol's corner kick was headed towards goal, but Lazare cleared it on the line. Immediately afterwards Hendry saw his effort thwarted. Union kept creating chances as well, this time Vanzeir's lob went high over the crossbar.

Simon Mignolet hield opnieuw zijn netten schoon
Simon Mignolet hield opnieuw zijn netten schoon

Both sides put up a great fight with a lof of midfield play. On the half-hour mark Undav tried it from just outside the box, but his shot was blocked. A few minutes later Union could have been down to ten after a challenge from Lazare on Lang, buf referee Lambrechts decided to not give a second yellow.

The last chance of an intense first half was for the visiting side. Undav created time and space for himself in the box, aimed the ball between the legs of Mignolet but Club's No. 1 did great to keep it out nevertheless.

It was a different start of the second half, with Club pinning down Union on their own half. That resulted in a couple of fine chances for the blue and black. Buchanan saw a strike take a deflection, De Ketelaere's mazy run inside the box was just cleared by Burgess and the following corner kick was headed over the crossbar by Hendry.

Club was in charge but could still count on an excellent goalkeeper. Mignolet needed a top-drawer reflex save to keep Lazare from breaking the deadlock. A few minutes later Lang's effort sailed wide of the target.

Just before the hour mark the game changed when Machida hacked down substitute Adamyan and was shown a second yellow card. It was the sign for Club to overpower the visitors. Moris parried away a strike from Hendry who then saw his header cleared. Just one minute later Lang's strike took a deflection before it went just past the post and Moris was forced into making another save on an attempt by Hendry.

Union stood firm, but finally caved halfway the second half when Tajon Buchanan's shot from outside the penalty area went in via goalkeeper Moris!

Tajon Buchanan bezorgde Club de zege
Tajon Buchanan bezorgde Club de zege

A few minutes later Lang doubled the score but he had strayed offside and the goal was chalked off. Later he rose highest to head the ball towards, but it went over the crossbar. On the other side of the pitch Undav had two chances to pull Union level, but he failed. Five minutes before the end it looked like it was a done deal for Club when Lambrechts pointed to the spot after a handball by Mitoma, but he changed his mind after watching the footage on the pitchside monitor.

No second goal for Club, but a goal for Union in the 90th minute. Casper Nielsen beat Mignolet with a low strike from outside the penalty area, but the goal was cancelled after a prior offside position in the build-up. No equaliser.

In stoppage time Buchanan was booked a second time, but the score didn't change anymore. Club is now three points clear and have a first chance to win the title on Sunday, if the blue and black beat Antwerp.


Champions' play-offs – Matchday 4
29.000 – Jan Breydelstadion
Referee: Erik Lambrechts
Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet – Clinton Mata (54’ Sargis Adamyan), Brandon Mechele, Jack Hendry – Tajon Buchanan, Denis Odoi, Éder Balanta, Hans Vanaken, Eduard Sobol – Charles De Ketelaere, Noa Lang (84’ Andreas Skov Olsen). Bench: Senne Lammens, Federico Ricca, Ruud Vormer, Bas Dost, Antonio Nusa, Noah Mbamba en Abakar Sylla. Coach: Alfred Schreuder.
Union Sint-Gillis: Anthony Moris – Jonas Bager (78’ Lorenzo Paolucci), Christian Burgess (78’ Ismaël Kandouss), Koki Machida - Loïc Lapoussin, Casper Nielsen, Teddy Teuma, Amani Lazare (61’ Siebe Van der Heyden), Kaoru Mitoma - Dante Vanzeir (70’ Cameron Puertas Castro), Deniz Undav. Coach: Felice Mazzu.
Yellow cards: Machida, Lazare, Balanta, Mignolet, Nielsen, Buchanan.
Red cards: 59’ Machida (2x yellow), 93’ Buchanan (2x yellow).
Goal: 65’ Buchanan (1-0).

Report - Steven Floin

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