Hein Vanhaezebrouck denounces AA Gent’s efficiency after losing to Antwerp, but: “The fact that it took so long shows that they were not sure about that penalty”

Hein Vanhaezebrouck: “Efficiency is an issue”

Hein Vanhaezebrouck was of course asked to give his opinion on the questionable penalty kick phase that led to Antwerp’s 2-0. “The fact that the VAR check takes so long is a sign that they were not sure. Even the referee waited a long time before blowing his whistle”, says the coach of AA Gent. “The ball comes through Godeau’s face and hits his hand. Well… he is in a sliding. They say it’s not his support arm. But if you do a sliding in full sprint, in that direction, your arms will come behind you. Not turned around. That is totally unnatural, against all the rules of anatomy. But that doesn’t count.”

“The rules then are Godeau may not have consciously played the ball with his face, but he did try to block it. That is a conscious attempt by my defender to block it with body parts that allow it, I think,” says Vanhaezebrouck. “And then the ball goes through his face against the arm. But I’m not going to say too much about it. It’s a penalty kick, it’s 2-0.” (Read more below the photo)

©  Isosport

“If you look at the match as a whole, you tend to say that this is deserved”, said Vanhaezebrouck. He also saw a lack of efficiency in his own team. “If we score ourselves at the first big chance we get, from 2 meters, then it is 0-1. Then you might get a completely different match. The number of attempts on goal was balanced at 11-10. Only we have 1 on goal and Antwerp 5. If Hjulsager after the 2-0 either tries to put that ball next to the keeper or puts it wide to a single Depoitre, then it might be 2-1 and then I want to see it . In the last fifteen minutes we also had such situations. Efficiency is an issue for us.”

Mark van Bommel: “We fought when we had to”

“Relieved? Then you are in a difficult phase, that is not the right word. It is good that we have won”, opened Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel. “I think it’s deserved. We started the game well, got a header on the crossbar and then a nice goal. There were also sloppy phases from both sides. We brought beautiful football and fought when we had to fight. I can enjoy that.”

It was Michel Ange Balikwisha who broke the spell for Antwerp. “Bali is a player who has extra qualities, you have to use them. Calvin Stengs is also doing well. He can turn in any direction, he can move the game. It is also nice to see that Arthur Vermeeren is developing so well. Of course because other guys get injured, but sometimes you need that to be able to make that jump yourself. Now Genk follows for the cup. That is certainly a nice assignment, and then the competition will continue.” (Read more below the photo)


Sven Kums: “We wanted to close the gap”

“Of course it’s a bad feeling when you lose,” said AA Gent player Sven Kums. “We started the first half well, but then the goal falls and we sink a bit. Antwerp then had the better game. In the second half we tried to come back, but then that penalty fell and it became very difficult. I didn’t see that phase very well, Godeau said he hit the ball with his face. This will come in. You know it’s difficult at Antwerp, but we wanted to close the gap. Now that gap has widened. Fortunately, we have a cup match against Union on Thursday, hopefully we can put things right.”

Toby Alderweireld: “Good start to a difficult month”

“We are facing a very tough month, but with the three points here we started well against a good Ghent”, said Toby Alderweireld (Antwerp). “We can do better, but the willpower was there and the organization was there. That’s promising. Balikwisha shows that he can play football very well. If we are in a good position as a team, we have the quality to make a difference. This victory is the best gasoline to run the engine. We are satisfied, but now there is an important game coming up on Wednesday.”

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