Tough Canaries pull out a hard-fought point in exciting Limburg derby

Lovely, such an authentic derby atmosphere. The Genk hard core provided a civilized monopoly tifo, which was to illustrate the dominance in Limburg. Despite the increasing rain shower, the kick-off by Branko Strupar raised the temperature by a few degrees.

© Dick Demey

STVV with Bauer

While Wouter Vrancken held on to the winning eleven of the past few weeks, his good friend Bernd Hollerbach surprisingly opted for ‘prodigal son’ Bauer on the left.

In itself a fairly conservative choice, but that did not mean that his team was going to pour a batch of reinforced concrete in front of keeper Schmidt’s goal. The Canaries seemed to suffer the least from derby stress and kept the home side far from goal. Yet the first danger on target was colored blue and white, Schmidt was allowed to warm up with a shot from El Khannouss.

© Dick Demey

Genk threatens first

A bang from Paintsil lit the fire halfway through the first half. Schmidt fended off and Nemeth was too surprised to do anything with the rebound, but the home crowd was getting louder and louder.

Again and again it was Paintsil, who made Bauer and Al-Dakhil doubt and caused the Genk danger. On a sharp counter, the Ghanaian put in front, in his most dangerous infiltration Munoz forgot to finish from close range. For example, a well-organized STVV, which only threatened via a cross shot from Bauer, reached the break with a spectacle stand.

© Dick Demey

Munoz misses up close

The derby could use a pinch of salt and pepper. That was clearly also the message from Wouter Vrancken during the break, the home team immediately switched up a gear at the start of the second half. The first flash from Trésor immediately provided the best chance of the match, but Paintsil decided diagonally in front of goal too weak within Schmidt’s reach.

After Hrosovsky aimed his place ball too high, Vrancken made a double substitution. Samatta and Castro came before Nemeth and Trésor. Unlike in previous weeks, El Khannouss was allowed to stay, but after a short corner he promptly thanked what should have been the derby’s assist. At the far post, however, Munoz missed from close range with left.

© Dick Demey

Bruno centimeters from stunt

That is how it continued to bite your nails in an atmospheric Cegeka Arena. And for the first time also shivering for the home supporters, but Arteaga threw himself for Hashioka’s dangerous volley. Substitute Boya tested Vandevoordt with a surprising bang, after which Gianni Bruno got the home fans completely silent in injury time. The Truiense substitute, who provoked last week with an anti-Genk t-shirt, however, saw his goal disallowed due to (slightly) offside.

Six minutes of injury time still held football-loving Limburg in their grip, but the fourth 0-0 in derby history remained on the board despite a late substitute by Onuachu. Hrosovsky kicked the last chance over the goal of Schmidt, perhaps the moral winner of a derby that will not make the history books.

© Dick Demey

KRC GENK: Vandevoordt – Munoz, Cuesta, McKenzie, Arteaga – Heynen, Hrosovsky, El Khannouss – Paintsil, Nemeth, Trésor.

STVV: Schmidt – Hashioka, Janssens, Leistner, Al-Dakhil, Bauer – Konate, Brüls, Kagawa – Okazaki, Hayashi.

Replacements: 55′ Hayashi by Bruno, 65′ Nemeth and Trésor by Samatta and Castro, 79′ El Khannouss by Galarza, 85′ Kagawa by Van Dessel, 89′ Paintsil by Onuachu and Okazaki by Boya.

Yellow cards: 45′ Paintsil and Bauer (dispute), 75′ Hollerbach (coach, protest), 92′ Van Dessel (extended leg), 94′ Leistner (protest).

Referee: Jasper Vergoote.

Spectators: 17,856.

© Dick Demey

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