The head is off for Kevin Rodriguez (23). Union’s Colombian striker scored his first goals of the season and gave the Brussels team the three points against KV Kortrijk. The competition leader won without playing great with 3-0 against the red lantern.
Patience is a virtue. Kevin Rodriguez has already been close to his first goal a few times. He already had two assists, but his third starting spot turned out to be the right one for his first goal. Last week he missed a penalty against Club Brugge in the final minute, this time the rebound from a shot by Lapoussin flew in smoothly. Clearly a liberation for the Colombian, because less than two minutes later he had already scored a second goal. With a place ball he put Union on its way to a smooth three-pointer before half time. Last Thursday’s 3-0 defeat against LASK Linz in the Europa League has been washed away in no time.
However, not everything went smoothly against KV Kortrijk. Union played anything but great with a half B team against the last in the competition, but the same could be said of the Kortrijk visitor. The fact that Union has succeeded this season even without playing really well against clubs like KVK is a quality that many clubs envy. Union also did the same against Westerlo for a few weeks and again it ended up being a clear 3-0 win. Although coach Alexander Blessin is once again not completely satisfied – he insists week after week that the level of his team must increase – but there is no sign of this in the standings. Union is simply in the lead authoritatively and is already six points ahead of first pursuer Anderlecht. The people of Brussels are now confident of the autumn title – for what it’s worth.
Apart from the level of play, there was nothing but good to note for Union. Boys like Terho, Leysen, Sykes and Kabangu are happy again now that they were able to get some playing minutes again. Lapoussin also scored his goal and assist king Puertas gave his thirteenth and fourteenth assist of the season. And so Rodriguez scored his first goals. He had to show patience, but patience is always rewarded. Union knows that too. In the search for a new striker this summer, Kevin Rodriguez was one of the Brussels’ top targets. However, the Colombian proved to be too expensive for a long time. Only at the absolute end of the mercato did his price drop to around 4 million euros and Union was still able to strike.
It is not illogical that such a price tag hung around Rodriguez’s neck. A year ago he was top scorer in the Ecuadorian second division. He surprisingly secured a place in Ecuador’s World Cup team in Qatar. In January he moved to the highest Colombian league. He immediately found his niche at Independiente del Valle and scored five times in half a season. And this summer he settled in Brussels. In Belgium he is not yet living up to his nickname ‘the leopard’. He has already shown several times that he is fast. But he has not yet emerged as a killer in front of goal. Although Kortrijk coach Glen De Boeck may think differently.