Antwep’s reference match against Anderlecht has not been followed up by Stayen. Sint-Truiden punished two individual mistakes and Antwerp’s response, via Samatta, came too late. 2-1 and therefore a missed opportunity for Antwerp to take advantage of Club Brugge’s loss of points. Even more: it now feels the hot breath of KV Mechelen in the neck and Union can reach seven points.
With STVV and Antwerp, two teams faced each other who came out of the international break with confidence. The stock number 1 started after a difficult period with a deserved victory against Anderlecht. The Limburgers won with a tight block in Mechelen. Verstraete returned from suspension with the visitors and for the rest Priske had no reason to change after the reference match against Anderlecht. Dwomoh moved into the bank. Hollerbach replaced Bauer – who was suspended after a bold tackle on Druijf – and Hara by Konaté and Hayashi.
Antwerp start fel
A fiery start because of Antwerp immediately resulted in two chances. An industrious Nainggolan could not surprise goalkeeper Schmidt with a shot from outside the box. Moments later, Benson failed to put the home goalkeeper to work after good preparatory work by Nainggolan van Frey. Benson has already done better this season with his good left.
The first home threat came from De Laet’s foot. The Antwerp captain almost deviated a corner into his own goal, but that was beyond Butez. The Canaries amassed one corner after the other, but did very little with it. After a promising start, the pace faded from the match. A riot here, a foul there.
Individual mistakes punished
We had to wait for the first Haspengouw apple to fall out of the closet and that happened for the home team. Vines choked on his control after a kick from Butez. De Ridder quickly brought the ball in front of the goal and Hayashi thanked the coach for the confidence. Low slide and 1-0. Five minutes later, Yusuf lost the ball at the halfway line. Koita still had a lot of work to do, but the Antwerp native with Senegalese roots put a few men in the wind and popped in dry.
A double deficit and therefore a big job for the Great Old after the break. Priske put Yusuf out of his misery and gave his compatriot Fischer 45 minutes to help turn the tide. Most of Antwerp’s danger came through Nainggoalan. Due to the return of Verstraete, he moved forward in a row, so that he could and had to be the turntable even more than against Anderlecht. ‘Il Ninja’ offered Frey two great opportunities: the first gave the Swiss poor control so that he did not get a shot, the second he headed past.
Too late response
All in all, Sint-Truiden gave little away. It kept things tightly closed without being dangerous itself. Suzuki gave Seck a particularly difficult afternoon, but was not brought into position himself. After Seck’s top match against Anderlecht, he often came a step too late on the Truiense artificial grass.
Priske threw Samatta, Dwomoh and Eggestein into the fray and it paid off. First, Fischer had two more options. In the first, the Dane was half a leg short on a cross from Eggestein, then he aimed an assist from Nainggolan wide. Or better in a corner. Fischer kicked it himself and saw Samatta win his first Jupiler Pro League.
But that was it. The connection was not followed up. Antwerp remains in second place next to Club Brugge and can see leader Union further out.