8 cards, 2 goals but no winner. An intense top match between Antwerp and Club Brugge ended in 1-1. Engels rocked De Bosuil by opening the score against his former team, but Vanaken equalized deep into the first half. After the break, especially blue-black came close to a winning goal a few times. De Ketelaere saw an attempt reversed on the line and Engels had to pull the emergency brake when Van Der Brempt charged towards goal alone. Club also finished with 10 after red for Nsoki.
Antwerp – Club Brugge in a nutshell:
- Key moment: Charles De Ketelaere seems to take Club ahead in minute 53. Butez has been beaten, but who else but Ritchie De Laet is on the line to keep the 1-2 off the scoreboard.
- Man of the match: Not necessarily the best, but the most striking of the competition: Björn Engels. Was laughed at by the Club fans for taking yellow after a foul on Lang, got his money’s worth by making it 1-0 and ended up taking a straight red.
- Remarkable: Before today, Hans Vanaken was already good for 4 goals and 3 assists against Antwerp. Only that has never succeeded in 8 duels on the Bosuil. Today he changed that with the much-needed equalizer.
View the goals from Antwerp – Club Brugge (1-1)
Vanaken kicks Club back into the game just before half-time
After their European duels against Fenerbahce and Manchester City, Antwerp and Club had to focus again on the national competition and each other. In what announced itself as a bitter game of football, it was mainly looking forward to who would stand between the lines as the freshest team.
Between the hefty duels, Mignolet had to distinguish himself as the first goalkeeper on a ground-shattering shot by Gerkens.
Antwerp had the strongest start, but Club gradually got back into the game. Still, it was the home team that opened the score. Precisely ex-Bruggeling Björn Engels climbed the highest on an Antwerp corner. Mignolet seemed to float the header from Engels out of his goal, but the ball fell just below the crossbar.
Club had to come now, but there was no surprise. Yet Butez still had to hurry to avoid a failed cross by Vormer, but just before half-time, the visitors hit the mark. De Ketelaere cleverly tapped a corner from Vormer back to Vanaken, who tapped in the 1-1 from close by.
Mata fell after an ugly fall
Two red cards and a great save season the final phase
After the break, Ritchie De Laet in particular returned to the field with great enthusiasm. Two great offensive moves were not rewarded and when De Ketelaere came face to face with Butez, De Laet came back just in time to turn the 1-2 of the line. A pleasant start to the second half, but then the game came to a complete standstill.
Dozing off fans were brutally awakened ten minutes before time. Bas Dost put the tireless Van der Brempt on his way to Butez with a handsome header, but that was beyond English. He knew that he had to hang on the emergency brake and that resulted in a calculated red card.
Club seemed to go into the lock with one man more, but it couldn’t enjoy that numerical superiority for long. Nsoki did not like a sharp counter from Yusuf and that earned him a stupid second yellow. With ten against ten, the added time seemed to be a measure for nothing, but on the Bosuil there is always something going on.
When Antwerp received a corner kick in that injury time, the home crowd already went wild. When Seck confidently headed the ball to the far post, the roof of the Tawny Owl seemed to come off, but that was not counting on a phenomenal parade from Mignolet. Club and Antwerp thus still divide the loot and that seems to be a fair result.
Balanta is going to push at the ref
In the final phase, Engels and Nsoki run into a red card
Both De Laet and Mignolet keep their team straight
Gerkens: “Was already cheering, but unfortunately Club has a good goalkeeper”
Ritchie De Laet (Antwerp): “It was a bit up and down. I think they had some half chances and then that ball I take off the line. We often missed the last pass and if Yusuf was a little faster, he was also alone in front of Mignolet, who comes out with a great save at the end. Last time I was on the left, today on right back, but I’m just trying to do my part. It doesn’t matter where I am, as long as I play.”
Pieter Gerkens (Antwerp): “In the first half there was a bit more possible for us. In the second half it was then easier to survive, also with the retirement of Birger Verstraete, who is important for the stability in our team. As a result, I also had to defend more and that is not immediately my strongest side. I was already cheering at Seck’s header, but unfortunately Club has a good goalkeeper.”
Hans Vanaken (Club): “I think we had more claim to victory. The first half was quite closed, but after the break we came through, we were better footballing and we created opportunities more easily. Maybe no great, played out chances, except for Charles De Ketelaere. At the equalizer we are there with a lot of people and that is hoping that the ball falls well. That ball then comes into my feet and it was not difficult to kick it in.”
Simon Mignolet (Club): “It was important not to lose today and my save at the end also yields a point. We didn’t deserve to lose either and were the better team, without having finished chances. Now 1-1 is probably a fair result. the goal falls into the ball because I put too much force against that ball. If I hit it less, the ball goes over.”
Vanaken: “Give us 6.5 out of 10 today”
Mignolet: “As a goalkeeper you can only distinguish yourself by taking points for your team”
Benson: “Still felt that we had 2 days less rest”