Mark van Bommel lost expensive points with Royal Antwerp FC on Sunday in the Belgian title fight. The Limburg coach went down 1-0 at home against mid-engine Charleroi.
Gyrano Kerk and Jurgen Ekkelenkamp were in the base at Royal Antwerp FC. Calvin Stengs and former Orange international Vincent Janssen were absent due to injuries.
Youssouph Badji put the Walloon visitors ahead with a striking header early in the game. Ekkelenkamp seemed to equalize at the end of the first half, but with a clever reflex Charleroi keeper Hervé Koffi kept the ball out of his goal.
Charleroi had to continue with ten men in the final phase, because Damien Marcq received his second yellow card. Although Royal Antwerp FC had a field predominance, it was unable to translate that into a goal. In the second half, Kerk had an excellent opportunity to make it 1-1. Face to face with Koffi, the former FC Utrecht player failed.
It was the first defeat for Royal Antwerp FC in ten league matches. Despite the loss, the ‘Great Old’ remains in third place in the Belgian Pro league. The gap with leader KRC Genk is eight points. Union is second, with two points more than Van Bommel’s team.
Dutch debutant Bart Verbruggen again kept his goal clean at Anderlecht on Sunday. The Brabant keeper and his team won 2-0 at OH Leuven. The opening goal came from a penalty kick in the name of Islam Slimani. Kristian Arnstad scored the 2-0 in the final seconds. Thanks to the victory, the club rises to eighth place.
Anderlecht also had success this week in a European context. The team from Brussels surprisingly eliminated the Spanish Villarreal in the Conference League. A duel with AZ awaits in the quarterfinals.
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