Club bids farewell to the season with a 2-1 win over AA Gent
Beating AA Gent 2-1, Club Brugge ended the season in style, Wesley Moraes and Hans Vanaken taking care of Club's goals. Blauw-Zwart ends as this season's runners-up, which comes with a ticket to the Champions League preliminaries.
Michel Preud’homme made four changes to the team that had gone down at Ostend on Thursday: in the back, Poulain and Cools came on for Simons and Touba, while in midfield Limbombe and Refaelov manned the pitch at the expense of Rotariu and the suspended Claudemir. Up front, Wesley Moraes was called upon to fill the gap left by Izquierdo's unavailability.
The game was off to a rocky and nervous start, and the first threat was set up by the visitors as Troost-Ekong came inches close of heading in Milicevic' corner kick. Club reacted with a deviation by Wesley towards goal, but Kalinic proved attentive enough to save it. Club had trouble finding its way into the game, but gained control after twenty minutes, resulting in chances for Vanaken, Refaelov and Wesley, albeit without success.
Blauw-Zwart kept pushing, and halfway through the first half the opener followed. At the first post, Wesley got a touch to Refaelov's corner kick, putting it past Kalinic to make it 1-0. Club was now in fine spirits, and a second goal seemed in the air. Limbombe's cross chipped off Esiti in the side netting, while another effort by that same Limbombe went high over. Kalinic saved the day as Wesley fired with power.
After the break, the Buffalo’s wanted to rectify the crooked situation, and started heading for Horvath's goal. The latter produced saves to deny Kalu and Milicevic, spurring Club on to go for that second goal. With success: Limbombe pulled back to Hans Vanaken, whose cracker managed to beat Kalinic a second time.
Game over, or so you would think, but AA Gent was not going down without a fight . Kubo's shot first went (very) wide, but with twenty minutes to play, the visitors scored the goal of hope. Saief was given too much room on the right, and fired in the 2-1 in the far corner.
A point would suffice to make it to the CL preliminaries, so the visitors needed two more goals. Blauw-Zwart did not falter, however, and held on to the three points. The win puts Club in second place, with a shot at the Champions League through the preliminaries next season.
|Jupiler Pro League||Play-off 1 - Speeldag 10|
|Audience||28,000 - Jan Breydel Stadium|
|Ref||Mr. Bart Vertenten|
Ethan Horvath – Helibelton Palacios, Benoît Poulain, Stefano Denswil - Anthony Limbombe, Lior Refaelov (75’ Timmy Simons), Ruud Vormer, Hans Vanaken, Dion Cools – Jelle Vossen (87’ Lex Immers), Wesley Moraes (80’ Ahmed Touba).
Bench: Ludovic Butelle, Ricardo van Rhijn, Dorin Rotariu and Thibault Vlietinck.
Coach: Michel Preud’homme.
Lovre Kalinic – William Troost-Ekong, Stefan Mitrovic, Rami Gershon – Samuel Kalu, Danijel Milicevic (66’ Birger Verstraete), Renato Neto (84’ Louis Verstraete), Anderson Esiti (62’ Moses Simon), Kenneth Saief – Yuya Kubo, Kalifa Coulibaly.
Coach: Hein Vanhaezebrouck.
|Yellow||Vossen, Neto, Wesley, Mitrovic, Vanaken.|
|Goals||24’ Wesley (1-0), 57’ Vanaken (2-0), 70’ Saief (2-1).|
Text by: Steven Floin (sv)