Sabri Hmouda (right) left an eleven meter unused in the final phase.

Sabri Hmouda (right) left an eleven meter unused in the final phase. © GOYVAERTS/GMAX AGENCY

RC Mechelen did not get further than a 2-2 draw against Turnhout. Shortly after the break, the home team led 2-0, but saw the victory slip out of their hands. In the last minute, Hmouda missed a penalty kick: “If you don’t kick, you can’t miss”, coach Greg Vanderidt blames him.

“If we are 3-0 up at half-time, nobody can say anything about that,” said coach Greg Vanderidt. “We played a dominant first half, had chances and were the better team. We should have gotten a lot more out of that preponderance. Shortly after the break we made it 2-0 and we seemed to be on our way to a smooth victory.”

But Turnhout turned everything around in a few minutes. “We knew they could score from nothing. They have scored the most goals in our league, that says it all. We were absent for five minutes and that turned out to be fatal.”

At the end of the match, the stadium was turned upside down when the referee left unpunished handplay in the large rectangle in favor of RC Mechelen. “I was involved in that phase,” says Gregory Carrez, who extended his contract for two years this week and aimed the 2-0 nicely into the far corner. “I received the ball from Akarom and waited a long time to kick the cross. I kicked and for me it was hand play. That’s why I went to talk to the referee. He said that the ball had hit the support arm.”

Another penalty kick

Deep into injury time, the home team still had an excellent opportunity to get the job done from the spot, but Sabri Hmouda blasted the eleven meters high. “If you don’t get a penalty kick, you can’t miss”, trainer Greg Vanderidt clearly indicates. “Sabri took his responsibility. This can happen and I don’t blame him. You have to spread this result over the past three games. Then we get 7 out of 9 and we have done well”, says Vanderidt.

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