Sunday 14 May 2023 15:45

Club suffers 3-2 defeat at Antwerp in dying seconds

Club Brugge failed to pick up anything away against Antwerp. After half an hour of play, however, things were looking very good with a 0-2 lead thanks to goals from Mata and Vanaken, but Blauw-Zwart could not get a result due to a goal in the dying seconds when Antwerp turned things around completely.

Rik De Mil changed his line-up in two positions compared to last week's match against Union: Spileers and Sandra were on the bench, Sylla and Odoi came on. Coach De Mil thus opted for a bit more power and experience on the pitch to face Antwerp.

With success, as Club opened the scoring after just one minute play. Noa Lang glided past a couple of Antwerp defenders before finding Mata at the far post and the right full-back stabbed it home. A dream start for Club!

After that goal, Club tried to take the momentum but couldn't create clear-cut chances. On the contrary, it was Antwerp that increased the pressure on Club. That resulted in Janssen who almost got a shot away, but it was brilliantly cleared by Sylla.

Fifteen minutes into the game Rits almost finished off a smooth attacking move, but goalkeeper Butez tipped the long-range effort away. Antwerp kept the pressure on Club, but didn't create too much.

Blauw-Zwart proved the more dangerous side with more shots on target than the home side. On the 23rd minute Club even doubled the lead when Noa Lang's corner kick found Hans Vanaken and the captain headed home. With this goal Vanaken crowns himself the all-time top striker in Play-Off 1 with 23 goals.

Antwerp coach Van Bommel immediately reacted by subbing on Calvin Stengs for Keita. Ten minutes later that substituation resulted in a goal for the hosts. A free-kick took a deflection and landed into the feet of Vincent Janssen who fired in. Antwerp proceeded to increase the tempo, but Club headed towards the dressing room with a one-goal lead.

After the break, Blauw-Zwart commanded the game again. An effort from Jutglà couldn't trouble Butez, but it did make the intetions clear of Club. Unfortunately Jutglà couldn't continue and was replaced by Vermant. The academy graduate quickly proved to be dangerous.

But it was Antwerp that gradually took over control of the game. In search of the equalizer Janssen had a golden chance to level the score, but he headed the ball over the crossbar. The pressure rose, but Blauw-Zwart had its moments. After a good move by Mata the right-full back whipped in a cross for Meijer, but his header missed all direction.

Five minutes before the end Antwerp pulled level when substitute Gyrano Kerk cut inside from the right-hand side and slotted it home past Mignolet. Club looked to be holding on to one on point, but in the 97th minute Antwerp had one final corner kick. Club failed to clear the ball and Vermeeren didn't hesitate to make it three when the ball rolled in front of him.


Champions’ Play-Offs – Matchday 3
16.000 – Bosuilstadion
Referee: Nathan Verboomen
Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet – Clinton Mata (75’ Casper Nielsen), Brandon Mechele, Abakar Sylla (75’ Jorne Spileers), Bjorn Meijer – Mats Rits (90’ Cisse Sandra), Raphaël Onyedika, Hans Vanaken, Dennis Odoi – Noa Lang (90’ Antonio Nusa), Ferran Jutglà (51’ Romeo Vermant). Bench: Josef Bursik, Nick Shinton, Kyriani Sabbe, Roman Yaremchuk. Coach: Rik De Mil.
Antwerp: Jean Butez – Jelle Bataille, Toby Alderweireld, Willian Pacho (68’ Zeno Van Den Bosch), Gastón Ávila – Arbnor Muja (68’ Gyrano Kerk), Mandela Keita (26’ Calvin Stengs), Jürgen Ekkelenkamp (81’ Alhassan Yusuf), Arthur Vermeeren – Michel-Ange Balikwisha (81’ Christopher Scott), Vincent Janssen. Bank: Ortwin De Wolf, Kobe Corbanie. Coach: Marc van Bommel.
Yellow cards: Pacho, Lang, Sylla, Meijer, Nielsen
Red cards: none
Goals: 2’ Mata (0-1), 23’ Vanaken (0-2), 36’ Janssen (1-2), 86’ Kerk (2-2), 97’ Vermeeren (3-2)

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