One flash from Sor gives leader Genk the three points. The early opening goal did not signify the start of a carefree evening for Genk, which acted too weakly, while Zulte Waregem again came out clean and free. In the zone of truth, however, the visitors lacked some finesse to beat an attentive Vandevoordt. At the Limburgers there seems to be some sand in the machine. Essevee fails to reward himself with an unexpected point.
Essevee was warned after KRC Genk’s cup elimination. The proud leader would not be in the mood to hand out gifts. Paintsil and Munoz watched suspended, while coach Vrancken also sat on the penalty bench. He even watched the match from his couch at home. After all, after the tactical discussion, he simply returned home.
In addition, Castro and Samatta were favored over El Khannouss and Onuachu who moved to the bench. Sor then celebrated his basic debut again, while Preciado started at right back. At Essevee, Brüls returned to the starting line-up, while Miroshi replaced Lopez in the center of the back. Furthermore, Leye stuck to the success formula of the last few weeks.
Zulte Waregem played quite cheerfully in the opening phase, but when Tresor demonstrated his wonderful kicking technique for the first time and played Sor, the Nigerian newcomer immediately went on an adventure. The right winger cut in and left Bossut without a chance with a scorching shot into the roof of the goal (1-0). Genk immediately had that coveted lead.
Essevee was not impressed and continued to combine chances under the impetus of the inevitable Vormer, but Vandevoordt was attentive in goalkeeping and intervened well with a free kick from the Dutchman. Moments later, he intercepted a slightly too soft cross from Fadera who tried to reach onrushing Gano. And Genk? The home team played just a little too casually to really worry Bossut.
Genk’s audience begins to grumble
Halfway through, that one unparalleled flash from Sor turned out to be enough for a narrow 1-0 lead for leader Genk, but the visitors increasingly felt that there was something to be gained. Even after the break, that confidence was perfectly embodied by guys like Sissako. Rarely have we seen the 24-year-old midfielder play football as confidently as on Saturday night in Genk. The home crowd even got a bit nervous about it.
Genk, meanwhile, remained sick in the same bed as before rest. The Limburgers lacked sharpness and also seemed to have lost some automatisms due to the various personnel changes. It was certainly not conducive to the spectacle value of the second half. The home players piled up the misunderstandings and wrong passes. Zulte Waregem countered with a timid header from Gano.
The fourth quarter was therefore by no means food for gourmets and it all became a bit more unfriendly. Result: three yellow cards in a handful of minutes. Genk escaped the equalizer just before the hour mark when Ciranni threw a ball in front of goal. Gano lay in wait but couldn’t control the leather. Essevee was also just a bit sharper in the duels more often and the unease among the home fans grew by the minute.
And then the visitors in the back started messing around. Sor intercepted a ball from Bossut and made his way to the visiting efmeter. Miroshi hung on his arm rather emphatically, but ref D’Hondt and VAR Vergoote didn’t budge. Moments later, Samatta went down all too easily in the penalty area, but Genk was not awarded a penalty again, to the frustration of the home fans.
Waregem’s final offensive
These two phases did create a bit more enthusiasm on and around the field. Defensively, Zulte Waregem also found it increasingly difficult to close all spaces and when Samatta reached the back line and reached the detached Tresor, he incomprehensibly decided to go over. On the other side, another nice combination between Vormer and Fadera, but Brüls’ shot that resulted was an easy prey for Vandevoordt.
Both coaches threw in some fresh forces. So Onuachu and El Khannouss appeared on the field after all. Ramirez and Ndour replaced the tired Vormer and Gano with the visitors. Moments later, Ramirez even appeared in front of Vandevoordt after a fine rush from Fadera, but Vandevoordt once again kept his nets clean.
Leye also threw in Offor and Zulte Waregem launched a final offensive, but with the last pass it always went wrong and Genk’s victory was no longer in danger. Zulte Waregem went home with an unsatisfied feeling, just like the nearly 15,000 spectators. A missed opportunity for the visitors, the leader cannot grumble with this frugal victory.
KRC Genk: vandevoordt; Preciado, Cuesta, McKenzie, Arteaga; Sor (71′ Onuachu), Heynen (71′ Ouattara), Castro (71′ El Khannouss), Hrosovsky; Tresor (88′ Geusens); samatta
Zulte-Waregem: Bossut; Sörmo, Derijck, Miroshi; Ciranni, Sissako, Vormer (76′ Ramirez), Rommens (81′ Offor), Fadera; Brüls; Gano (76′ Ndour)
goals: 10’ Sor 1-0
Yellow cards: Samatta, Brüls, Preciado and Miroshi
Red cards: /
Referee: Lothar D’Hondt