After a 1 in 9, Westerlo has once again taken the win. Without Lyle Foster, the Kemphanen were lord and master for ninety minutes against an immature KV Mechelen, which should be happy that the score did not rise (much) higher. Jonas De Roeck and co settle more firmly in the top eight, leaving KVM outdoors with a dramatic 4 out of 30.
Who will replace Lyle Foster? It was the big question that Jonas De Roeck was presented with after the record transfer from the South African to Burnley FC. The Kempen coach surprised with the Vaesen-Chadli duo in the striker, as a result of which Nene moved to the flank.
In the new formation, Westerlo did not have to lose offensive strength. On the contrary. Against a waiting KV Mechelen – without Hairemans, Storm and Da Cruz – the Ruffs were lord and master in the opening phase. After a too short back pass from Verstraete, Chadli should always have opened the score after four minutes. The former Red Devil pushed the leather next to Coucke, but also on the wrong side of the post over the goal line.
Before the quarter of an hour, the home team had already threatened four times. Van den Keybus and Chadli again did not get the ball within the frame, Nene could not put enough power in his header. Halfway through the first half, the reward followed after an attack from the book. Van Eenoo made it to the back line and put it back perfectly in the box. Chadli was a toe short, but the well-followed Vaesen converted the Kempen predominance into a deserved lead: 1-0. For Van Eenoo, by the way, his 100th decisive action – goal or assist – in his career.
An uninspired KV Mechelen, where 17-year-old Soelle Soelle kicked off for the first time, did nothing at all offensively. Two shots from the second line, two training balls for Bolat. The most dangerous position came after a defensive action by Reynolds. The American headed the ball back to Bolat, who clearly did not expect that. Fortunately for the home team, the ball fluttered into a corner kick.
Westerlo, which saw Chadli injured at the end of the first half, could only be satisfied with one thing after 45: that it had only scored once out of twelve attempts on goal. Return, despite the many goals this season, it is often a problem for De Roeck’s team.
Cooke prevents worse
In contrast to the past few weeks, the lack of efficiency at Westerlo did not take a turn for the worse this time. KV Mechelen, with Ngoy and Vanlerberghe in the team for Soelle Soelle and Van Hoorenbeeck, tried to put more pressure in the second half, but Westel continued to dominate the game.
A first changeover moment was still poorly played, but just before the hour it was bingo again. A corner kick from Madsen blew all the way to the far post, where Vaesen was able to slide in his second of the afternoon completely free. Remarkable: in the past 22 games, the 21-year-old attacker had only found his way to goal once, suddenly the counter is at three.
KV Mechelen failed to make a fist and escaped a heavy punishment in ‘t Kuipje. Vetokele and Fixelles decided on Coucke from close range. A free kick from De Cuyper went towards the intersection, but the Mechelen goalkeeper was again in trouble with a hover dive.
Malinois was reduced to ten men after a red card for Lavalée. Books finally closed, but even now a frisky football player Westerlo refused to take his foot off the accelerator. However, it did not yield a third goal, although it will not keep them awake for long in the Kempen. Thanks to the first victory in four games, Westerlo is firmly in the top eight, KV Mechelen is out with a solid away complex after a 4 out of 30.
WESTERLO: Bolat, Reynolds, Neustädter, Tagir, De Cuyper, Nene, Madsen, Van Eenoo, Van den Keybus, Vaesen, Chadli
MECHELEN: Coucke, Walsh, Bates, Lavalee, Van Hoorenbeeck, Mrabti, Verstraete, Schoofs, Van Hecke, Malede, Soelle Soelle
Replacements: 42′ Chadli by Vetokele, 46′ Soelle Soelle by Ngoy, 46′ Van Hoorenbeeck by Vanlerberghe, 65′ Van den Keybus by Fixelles, 65′ Vaesen by Jordanov, 76′ Mrabti by Engvall, 76′ Van Hecke by Bafdili, 84′ Malede by Mukau, 84′ Nene by Gumuskaya
goals: 22′ Vaesen 1-0, 56′ Vaesen 2-0
Yellow cards: 52′ Verstraete, 53′ Madsen, 68′ Lavalee
Red card: 77′ Lavalée (2x gel)
Referee: Brent Staessens