The national champion has now left his lesser start to the competition. In the possibly last game of Hans Vanaken for blue-black, KV Kortrijk won 2-1 at home. Acquisition Bjorn Meijer was the man of the match with two goals, although his last one was disallowed in injury time. With this victory, Club Brugge jumps to third place in the standings for the time being.
No surprises for the home team because Carl Hoefkens chose the same eleven basic players as he visited OH Leuven last week. Then Karim Belhocine had some more news in store: the Chamber of Commerce coach dropped Sissoko from his base team, the Malian midfielder did not even take a seat on the bench. Mbayo also disappeared from the base, Henen appeared in his place at the kick-off. Bruno pulled out in the last instance with an injury, so that the duo Keita – Vandendriessche started centrally in midfield.
Before kick-off, the Bruges fans had a clear message in store for Hans Vanaken. With a life-size tifo they begged their captain not to exchange Jan Breydel for Premier League club West Ham. Moments later, the fans of the blue and black were allowed to cheer for the first time: Selemani choked on an apparently innocent ball control, Jutgla did not hesitate and drove the ball against the nets (1-0).
Kortrijk could only be grateful to goalkeeper Ilic that a few minutes later he managed to whip Meijer’s powder out of his goal and that he also had an excellent reaction to Sowah’s attempt at distance. Meanwhile, Radovanovic had already received a yellow card after a major intervention on Skov Olsen. In the opening quarter, it was mainly a question of survival for the visitors who, with a header from Vandendriessche, also put their nose to the window for the first time.
It ushered in a short intermezzo in which the home team briefly took their foot off the accelerator, which meant that Kortrijk also had time to combine. The ‘pause’ did not last long and an attentive Ilic was soon needed to keep Skov Olsen from scoring. And then it became very quiet in the Jan Breydel Stadium. Keita slipped through the Bruges offside trap and served D’haene who reached the back line and put the ball ready for the same Keita who neatly tapped in (1-1).
Brugge reacted immediately via Skov Olson, but his attempt went into a corner, one that the Dane painted on Meijer’s head, but the Dutchman’s header was tapped from under his bar by Ilic. In the end, Ilic had to give in again before half-time: corner kick kicked a perfect corner and Meijer left Ilic with no chance with a striking header.
Blue-black escapes new equalizer twice
Bruges wanted to get the job done quickly after the break, but the visitors were not finished yet either. Kortrijk played pretty bright and free in that fourth quarter, but lacked some momentum in the zone of truth, that was not lost on Belhocine and he threw Avenatti into the fight, the tall Uruguayan attacker immediately forced Mignolet with a subtle header to a great save. .
Hoefkens brought in two fresh forces with Lang and Audoor, but the Bruges turbo continued to sputter. Especially because Lang immediately injured himself on his first action on the back line. The extroverted Dutchman tried again, but eventually had to leave the field after three minutes.
Larin was allowed to show up in his place and he almost immediately turned up alone for Ilic, but the Canadian decided much too weakly in the hands of the Serb. Gueye was clearly more inspired in the Bruges sixteen, but his bullet exploded on the crossbar. The home team woke up and again it was Nielsen who once again forced Ilic to a great parade.
Kortrijk was preparing for a final offensive, but the substitute Challouk acted on Mata and was excluded by ref Boterberg – despite a VAR intervention. In the added time, Bruges had an excellent opportunity to decide the game: Vanaken launched Sowah, who brought Larin into position, but the ex-striker of Zulte Waregem again found Ilic on his way, a little later a goal by Meijer was rejected for offside . Kortrijk went “all in” again, but the Bruges victory was no longer in jeopardy.
Line-up Club Brugge: Mignolet; Mechele, Sylla; Skov Olsen (90′ Sandra), Nielsen, Odoi (71′ Audoor), Vanaken, Meijer; Sowah, Jutgla (71′ Tall, 76′ Larin)
Setup KV Shortcut: Ilic; Watanabe, Dessoleil, Radovanovic, Messaoudi, Keita (83′ De Bruyn), Vandendriessche (62′ Avenatti), D’Haene; Gueye (83′ Challouk), Henen (62′ River)
Goals: 4′ Jutgla 1-0, 33′ Gueye 1-1, 45′ Meijer 2-1
Yellow cards: Radovanovic, Vandendriessche, Odoi, Mata, Sowah
Red cards: Challouk
Referee: Jan Boterberg