With two games to go, Antwerp has a three-point bonus on Standard to hold third place and therefore European football. They want to achieve that at all costs. Opponent coming Thursday is KAA Gent that just got their first three points and is in Anderlecht and fifth place. Will Ghent succeed in winning twice in a row or does Antwerp ensure that third place has arrived?
Royal Antwerp FC:
The supporters of Antwerp experience heyday. Antwerp has never played play-off I and immediately competes for European places. With two games to go, third place is the highest attainable and Standarrd follows on three points. The third place gives right to Europa League while the fourth place still has to be fully booked. So it is clear that they want to confirm that third place at Antwerp as quickly as possible. We managed quite well last week by finishing a point at Standard with a home game against Anderlecht.
A good start is half the win, they know that at Anderlecht too. The start of the Purple & White was therefore very promising. After barely 5 minutes, Santini was able to tap Najar’s shot from nearby past Bolat: 0-1. A dream start for the visitors and Antwerp had to recover from that early sacrifice. The home team tried to increase the pressure, but it always went wrong in the zone of truth. Even when Kums suffered his own sixteen ball loss, Refaelov was unable to profit. In the half hour it was suddenly all hands on deck at Anderlecht. After his exclusion against Standard last week, Bornauw again turned out to be an anti-hero with an owngoal, but Didillon came out with an excellent reflex. Anderlecht immediately lost the ball at the kick-off of the second half and that proved to be a harbinger of more calamity. Barely 3 minutes after the break the signs hung right again. A far throw-in was headed to Lamkel Zé, who left Didillon without a chance. Anderlecht immediately had to go into survival mode, because Antwerp took his chance and chased his victim. The visitors were no longer able to solve it, although the persistent pressure from Antwerp posed little concrete danger. Along the way, Anderlecht was able to restore the balance, but the Purple & White did not succeed in creating a threat. Only shortly before the end there was a chance for the visitors. At the request of Verschaeren, Santini ticked over in one time. A scarce bright spot in a disadvantaged second half.
Mbokani may have been missed at Antwerp although Bölöni did not want to admit: “I have to congratulate my players for their reaction in the second half. We started the game very weakly. We discussed that during the break and their attitude in the second half we achieved great dominance. We deserved at least one point. That we missed an important link with Mbokani? I must not be hypocritical, with Kara also missing a very important player. ”
After a solid season, the play-offs for Ghent went dramatically. But because it played the final of the Belgian Cup, it could still fall back on that thought. Now, about two weeks later, after the loss in that final, there is little left for Ghent to play for. It is in a despairing last place and can only keep up with Anderlecht that counts two more points. Last week it went to Sclessin, which is still in the running for third place.
With a disastrous 1/21 for Ghent and a very poor 8/21 for Standard, both teams had a lot to set straight. And especially the visitors seemed to have understood that. Jaremchuk already had three chances in a few minutes, but did not finish. Moments later it was a prize for Ghent. Souquet dribbled himself nicely in the sixteen, Dejaegere only had to tap inside. Standard fought back and found what it was looking for. Derijck had to leave the field injured, Plastoen was his replacement. But he was still tied up when Bastien headed the equalizer past Kaminski. Gent, who also injured Dejaegere for the break, was affected by the 1-1, Standard tried to go over and over it, without success. 1-1 was also the resting position. And even after the break it was the visitors who came out the best in the changing rooms. Standard got away well when Laifis seemed to touch the ball by hand in the sixteen. The VAR did not intervene, the Cypriot held his hand against the body, although we can at least call the action doubtful. But Ghent was nevertheless rewarded for its good intentions. Substitute David had Standard goalkeeper Ochoa turn over for a second time: 1-2. Standard was no longer able to make a real fist, but it was on the same level. Lestienne, who had been on the field for just a minute, punished Gents in the back with a 2-2 and seemed to drag a Liege point out of the fire. But in minute 94, the home team still got an icy downpour over Sclessin. David crowned himself as the match winner with a goal in the ultimate slot. Ghent, deservedly, grabs its first win in Play-off I. Standard stays on the track and misses the opportunity to jump over Antwerp to the third place.
The head is off for KAA Gent that finally has the three points it has already earned for some time, coach Thorup also saw: “With the way we played, I think we have earned more in recent weeks. But you must continue to believe that everything is possible Today we are playing a good match again, even after two equalizers, we still believed it was possible, it is a great feeling for the players and it is also good for the attackers that we score three times. it was perfect. Whether it is a personal victory for me? No, I am very close with the group, with the staff and everyone had the faith. We now take three points, that is the most important thing. ”
PREDICTION: Over 2,5 goals @ 1,81