Koita seemed to be on his way to becoming a match winner, but Frigan put a stop to that in the absolute final. Photo: Dick Demey
Koita seemed to be on his way to becoming a match winner, but Frigan put a stop to that in the absolute final.
Photo: Dick Demey
Westerlo and STVV shared the points after a spectacular match. The home team was in danger of leaving empty-handed after a strong first half, but substitute Frigan still gave Westerlo a point in added time. Two penalty kicks stirred the mood afterwards.
The match started on a bad note for Westerlo. Koita was given a boulevard to advance towards the goal. The Mauritanian was blocked (incorrectly) by Reynolds, but the ball ended up at Bocat’s feet. He didn’t hesitate and immediately struck from the edge of the sixteen. A surprised Bolat had to turn around after just six minutes.
It was also the last achievement of a lackluster STVV before half time. Westerlo did not let himself be deterred and after fifteen minutes the plates were put back at the same height. Sydorchuk first hit the post on a corner kick, but in the restart Bayram pushed Suzuki against the ropes after several stations.
Westerlo cheered, even if it was with her buttocks clenched for a while. The VAR had to check whether there was any offside. After four minutes the relief came from Tubize: 1-1!
Westerlo smelled blood and went looking for a second hit. A weak shot from Yow could not surprise Suzuki this time, Daci saw his attempt blocked. Just after the half hour, the home team got its deserved lead. After a quick counter-punch through several stations, Yow threw the ball in front of the goal. The leather ended up at Madsen’s feet via Truien’s leg. The Dane remained icy calm and controlled the leather in the corner.
Overtime for the VAR
After the break, Westerlo went into survival mode. STVV claimed the ball and crawled around Bolat’s cage. This did not pose much danger at first. The Limburg attack waves lacked the courage to find openings in the Kempen wall. Concrete target danger therefore remained limited. Steuckers aimed a shot straight at Bolat. Zahiroleslam’s attempt – a low slider – contained more poison, and this time too the Turkish goalkeeper responded attentively. Westerlo was unable to counter this with a falling shot from Haidara.
Persistence wins and that also applied to Sint-Truiden on Friday evening. Although the Canaries did need the intervention of the VAR for this. Bayram unfortunately also got the upper arm on a high cross. Nicolas Laforge was called to the screen and put the ball on the spot. Correct according to the letter of the regulations, but still a strict decision, Koita made it 2-2 from the spot.
Things can sometimes get spooky in ‘t Kuipje. The final phase had many plot twists in store. After a nice goal from Koita on a free kick – the wall opened and the Truiense top scorer aimed the ball perfectly between the yellow-blue cones – Westerlo still seemed to have to go bare. However, the home team immediately recovered, albeit with a bit of luck. A shot from Bos deviated at the foot of substitute Frigan and Suzuki was also beaten for a third time: 3-3.
There was no winner despite eight minutes of extra time. Deep into injury time, Westerlo claimed a penalty for a foul on Frigan. Overtime for the VAR. Laforge was called to the screen a second time, but this time stuck to his decision: no penalty. So no winner in Westerlo – STVV. Jonas De Roeck’s team has only lost once in the last seven matches, but will still go into the international break with mixed feelings.