FEATURE | Pro League Review – Week 4: Top clubs dominate, Standard stumble

The fourth round of the Jupiler Pro League took place this past weekend., while the second division got underway. Here is an overview of what went down.

Top clubs win without much trouble

The weekend started off with Gent coming from behind to defeat KV Oostende on Friday. After the hosts went in front at the quarter-hour mark, De Buffalo’s responded with goals from Hugo Cuypers and Hong Hyun-Seuk. The latter, playing in his first game since his move from LASK Linz, scored a bicycle kick, which ultimately to be the winning goal. Andrew Hjulsager got one more in the second half for Gent, who remain unbeaten on the season.

Anderlecht kicked off Sunday’s football at Stayen against Sint-Truiden. Despite the 42-degree heat in Limburg, Felice Mazzu’s side were too strong for De Canaries. Lior Rafaelov, Wolves loanee Fabio Silva, and substitute Benito Raman scored the goals in a 3-0 success for Anderlecht. It allowed them to hold the lead in the league for a couple of hours before Antwerp took it back.

The Great Old were able to maintain their winning start to the season courtesy of a Boris Lambert own goal with 12 minutes to go. Mark van Bommel’s side defeated KAS Eupen away, despite being outshot 16-9.

Club Brugge returned to winning ways against a wasteful OH Leuven team. New signings Casper Nielsen and Ferran Jutgla put the Blauw Zwart ahead before the interval, and Noa Lang converted a penalty in the second half to confirm the victory. Lang is likely to move on this summer and even asked to be put on the bench for the tie, but the Dutchman still managed to get on the scoreboard in the half that he played.

To cap off Sunday’s action, Genk once again impressed, defeating Zulte Waregem 4-1. Captain Bryan Heynen scored a brace in the first half, with youngster Andras Neymeth also finding the net. Former Genk striker Jelle Vossen got Zulte’s only goal just before the break. Daniel Muñoz wrapped up the scoring, with Wouter Vracken’s men going second in the league as a result.

Standard falter again, Union get over European woes

Saturday’s opening match saw Standard lose for the second time in four games, this time to promoted Westerlo. Igor Vetokele opened the scoring, the Angolan finding the mark for the third time in as many games. Nene Dorgeles doubled the lead for the hosts a few minutes into the second half. Despite Standard twice cutting the lead to one, they could not take a point, ultimately going down 4-2. Selim Amallah saw red for De Rouches injury time to add insult to injury.

Despite having 22 shots between them, Cercle Brugge and KV Mechelen could not score, both sides having to settle for a point. It was a rather even game between the two, making the result a fair one.

The other early evening match on Saturday saw Charleroi beat Seraing away courtesy of a Jackson Tchatchoua goal five minutes from time. It leaves Seraing bottom of the league, still without a point after four games.

Saturday’s action came to an end at Stade Joseph Marien, where Union St. Gilloise defeated KV Kortrijk 2-1. Having been eliminated in Champions League qualifying to Rangers earlier in the week, Union got back to winning ways thanks to captain Teddy Teuma, who got both goals for last season’s runners-up, with Faiz Selemani’s goal just past the hour mark not being enough for his side take any points on their travels.

Genk U23s, Lommel impress in opening weekend of Challenger Pro League

The new season of Belgium’s second tier got underway on Friday, where Lommel cruised past 10-men Dender 4-1. A pair of goals on either side of the interval were enough to give Lommel the three points away to the promoted team.

The other Friday game saw Virton have to settle for a point against RWDM. The last-placed team from last campaign got their noses in front with three minutes of normal time to go, only for RWDM to level the score in the 93rd minute.

Saturday saw Beerschot defeat SK Beveren by a goal to nil, the former relegated to the Challenger Pro League after two seasons in the top flight. Despite playing half an hour with a man advantage, Beveren could not make the most of the situation. The visitors ended up being reduced to 10 men themselves in stoppage time.

The first match involving under-23 teams saw Club Brugge and Standard play out a 2-2 stalemate. All four goals were scored in the first half hour, with Standard coming from two goals down to snatch a point.

Sunday saw Genk’s U23s cruise past Lierse Kempenzonen 4-1, with three second-half goals from the hosts doing the damage. Lierse managed to go in level at the break, but that was the best it got for De Geel-Zwart, who are joint bottom one week in.

Anderlecht’s U23s and Deinze ended the weekend with a 0-0 stalemate in Brussels. Deinze could not muster a shot on target in the 90 minutes, while the Anderlecht youngsters failed to get a goal for themselves.

David Parkes

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