Antwerp knows how to lose again. After nine games without defeat in the competition, Charleroi came up with stunts in Deurne-Noord: 0-1, Badji scored. The Great Old proved inefficient without Janssen.
Nathan Verboomen has shown at the Bosuil that he dares to make decisions. When the score was 0-0, the video referee called him to the screen to assess Tchatchoua’s handball in the box, but Verboomen didn’t think it was a penalty – that was a serious discussion. On the hour Verboomen then went back to the back pocket. He thought Marcq van Charleroi deserved a second yellow after tapping Balikwisha’s ankle. Mazzu was furious along the line, but Marcq – an experienced player after all – should have been smarter.
The exclusion meant that Charleroi had to hold on to 0-1 for another half hour with ten. You read that right: the Carolos actually took the lead against Antwerp. Badji headed in a Zorgane cross, not much after the VAR moment.
Antwerp was only able to develop real pressure after a tactical conversion by Mark van Bommel. He put Kerk, who had started in the striker as a replacement for the slightly injured Janssen, on the right, Muja moved to the left, Balikwisha became the deepest man. A good adjustment, because from then on Antwerp emphatically went looking for the equalizer. Before the break, Muja’s best opportunity was not getting enough curl in his attempt to beat Koffi. (Read more below the photo)
After the break and especially after the red card it was mainly one-way traffic. There were opportunities for Kerk, Muja and Balikwisha, but they did not show the efficiency that Janssen normally shows. Even face to face with Koffi, Kerk was unable to score. Antwerp could have been a bit more compelling against ten men, but it certainly had the moments to score a goal.
In the end, Van Bommel did everything he could to get at least a draw out of the fire. He even placed De Laet at the point of the attack to force something. To no avail, it remained 0-1. In the position, leader Racing Genk is one point ahead. (Read more below the photo)
ANSWER: Butez; De Laet, Van Den Bosch, Pacho, Bataille; Keita (80′ Yusuf), Vermeeren, Ekkelenkamp; Muja (85′ Scott), Church, Balikwisha
CHARLEROI: Kofi; Andreou, Marcq, Knezevic; Tchatchoua (75′ Doke), Zorgane, Ilaimaharitra (85′ Ozornwafor), Hosseinzadeh (62′ Boukamir), Mbenza; Bayo, Badji (85′ Heymans)
GOALS: 15′ Badji (0-1)
YELLOW CARDS: 36′ Koffi, 55′ Tchatchoua
RED CARDS: 60′ Marcq (2x yellow)
REFEREE: Nathan Verboomen