Winning the first game of 2023, in front of your own audience. That was the goal of Zulte Waregem. Newcomers Brüls and Vormer immediately showed that they represent a significant quality injection for the Leye team. Mechelen was 90 minutes behind the facts and a lot of relegation football is still waiting in the new year.
Le nouveau Essevee est arrivé. Leye immediately threw in newcomers Vormer and Brüls. No time to quietly get used to the new working environment. The duo must therefore become the figureheads of ‘operation rescue’. Bossut, on the other hand, was preferred to Bostyn, who may soon make the switch to Antwerp. At Malinwa, Coucke was absent due to illness, while Bijker and Mrabti had to drop out with an injury.
Zulte Waregem got off to a flying start. After five minutes the home side got a free kick in an interesting place. Vormer assessed the situation and signaled to Rommens: it’s up to you! Rightly so, as it turned out. Rommens did not hesitate and painted the ball wonderfully in the square. The visitors from Mechelen did not know what hit them. On the sidelines, Defour hissed incessantly.
Many sods did not immediately bring his passion to fruition. Vormer cooed with fun and threw passes, while Derijck forced brand new father Thoelen to a great save with a header. Around half an hour Malinwa came up a bit more. Derijck had more than his hands full of water Malede, Schoofs enjoyed a little too much space with a deflected corner kick, but he hit the crossbar with a subtle kick. (Read more below the photo)
Time for some more genius, Brüls judged. The ex-Canary demonstrated his talent in the first half and forced Thoelen into a fine parade with a subtle free kick. Anyone who questioned the motivation of the 34-year-old East Cantonner beforehand, knew better after barely 45 minutes. Under the impulse of Brüls and Gano, the storm bell resounded almost incessantly at the back of the visitors.
Gano brings the redemption
The lucky fairy was also on the side of the home team. Immediately after the break, Zulte Waregem got away very well when a deviated shot from Walsh landed right in the hands of Bossut. It turned out to be a wake-up call for the home side who tried to take control again. Mechelen also failed to play dominant football after the break.
In the meantime, Vormer also realized that he is still missing some percentages conditionally. In that second period, the Dutchman was clearly less prominent in the piece. Leye realized that his team needed some oxygen and planned a substitution, but just then Lavalee pulled a little too emphatically on Vormer’s textile in his own sixteen. Put pointed to the spot, but VAR Verboomen took the time to check whether the Dutchman was not offside. (Read more below the photo)
Eventually, Gano was allowed to moor. Thoelen seemed to save the day, but to his dismay saw the ball still end up in goal. 2-0, the ideal time to take Vormer to the side amid loud applause, thought Leye. Defour also brought two fresh forces between the lines with Soelle Soelle and Robberechts, but there was no turning point.
Gano missed a dot of an opportunity and Sissako hit the post, but Essevee immediately records its first league victory since October 20, when it defeated Anderlecht in front of its own audience. The belief in salvation immediately gets a big boost. At Malinwa, the pots regularly boiled over in the final phase, Defour has to work hard in the coming days. Finishing a quiet season is not an option for his team for the time being.
Setup Zulte Waregem: Bossut; Sörmo, Derijck, Miroshi; Ciranni, Sissako (90′ Ndour), Vormer (74′ Lopez), Rommens, Fadera (88′ Ramirez); Brüls and Gano (88′ Offor)
Line-up KV Mechelen: Thoelen; Bates, Lavalee, Van Hoorenbeeck (82′ Mukau); Walsh, Verstraete, Schoofs, Malede, Hairemans (74′ Robberechts); Da Cruz (74′ Soelle Soelle) and Storm
goals: 5′ Rommens 1-0, 72′ Gano (penalty kick) 2-0
Yellow cards: Van Hoorenbeeck, Derijck, Walsh, Lavalee, Verstraete, Bates, Schoofs and Ciranni
Red cards: /
Referee: Bert Put