Club suffers deadly 2-0 defeat at Standard
The final away game of the season brought woe to Club Brugge, suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Standard. Things looked peachy as Collins Fai was sent off thirty minutes into the game at 0-0, but Blauw-Zwart was unable to make the most of the man more situation. To the contrary even: Marin, first from the spot and later on with a fabulous free kick, made sure the win for the hosts. With Genk drawing at Anderlecht, the cards have been dealt in the title race too.
One change to the team that had beaten KRC Genk over the weekend: Sofyan Amrabat came on for Siebe Schrijvers, strengthening midfield. The two teams started the game with gusto, with chances on both sides of the pitch. Diatta came eye-to-eye with Ochoa in the opening minute, but was caught off-side, while Horvath proved the better in Cimirot's early opportunity. Three visiting corners followed: the first was headed away just in time before Dennis could send it home, the second went just wide off Miangue, and the last ended with a Vormer volley missed.
A fiery start for sure, but the fine intentions made way for more duels in midfield and some clumsy play. Still, Club had some slight chances: Rits aimed his shot over, while Wesley came short of tapping in Rits' cross, and a great action by Diatta did not end up with a Club player to tuck it in. Les Rouches had trouble creating danger, and made it even harder on themselves as Collins Fai saw a red card after a brutal tackle on Vormer.
Blauw-Zwart tried capitalising on the man more situation, but more than a Wesley shot saved was not in it. With half-time looming ahead, Club really pinned Standard against its own goal, but without luck: a great placed ball by Vanaken was met with an ultimate hand by Ochoa. A bit later, Dennis headed for the goal line, and pulled back, but Rits, Wesley and Diatta all came just short. Last chance of the first half was for Dennis, making his way in the box, but firing on the wrong side of the post.
With Genk 0-1 up at Anderlecht, Club knew only a win would do to stay in the title race. Coach Leko brought on Openda, and Club now really surged forward: Rits curled his effort wide, Vanaken's shot was too central, but the best chance was for Openda, whose shot seemed goalbound, but was pawed away by an in-form Ochoa. Moments later, Goreux cleared the ball just before it crossed the goal line, and Openda saw the opener cancelled out due to a push.
By now, Blauw-Zwart really deserved a goal, but it was Standard that made the most of the few chances it got. A corner kick fell to Dennis, whose unfortunate handling of the ball lead to a spot kick for the hosts, duly tapped in by Razvan Marin. Club now needed two goals to keep its title dreams alive, and with Danjuma and Schrijvers on, Leko put all caution to the wind. Standard remained well-organised however, and other than a long range shot by Denswil Club was unable to create anything.
Standard now also saw its time coming, and lured on the break. Mechele was in the way of a Cimirot shot, while Marin and again Cimirot were unable to frame their attempts. Club kept pushing on, but saw its breath cut off in the final minute of the game. A free kick by Marin went past Horvath, making sure the points remained in Liège. With Genk conceding a draw at Anderlecht, the title goes to Limburg.
Jupiler Pro League – Play-Off I, MD9
Audience: 23,000 – Stade Maurice Dufrasne
Ref: Mr. Alexandre Boucaut
Standard: Guillermo Ochoa – Réginal Goreux, Milos Kosanovic, Konstantinos Laifis, Collins Fai – Samuel Bastien (72’ Paul-José Mpoku), Gojko Cimirot, Razvan Marin, Senna Miangue – Obbi Oulare (92’ Sébastien Pocognoli), Maxime Lestienne (63’ Mehdi Carcela). Coach: Michel Preud’homme.
Club Brugge: Ethan Horvath – Clinton Mata, Brandon Mechele, Stefano Denswil – Emmanuel Dennis (73’ Arnaut Danjuma), Ruud Vormer, Sofyan Amrabat (46’ Loïs Openda), Mats Rits (76’ Siebe Schrijvers), Hans Vanaken, Krépin Diatta – Wesley Moraes. Bank: Karlo Letica, Luan Peres, Benoît Poulain, Jelle Vossen, Marvelous Nakamba and Saulo Decarli. Coach: Ivan Leko.
Yellow: Marin, Oulare, Goreux, Mechele.
Red: 30’ Fai.
Goals: 68’ Marin (penalty, 1-0), 89’ Marin (2-0).
Text by: Steven Floin (sv)