The dismissal of Steven Defour has not done KV Mechelen any harm in Sclessin. After a strong second half, it was ultimately Rob Schoofs who scored the liberating 1-1. For example, the captain canceled out a goal by Kawabe, after he, Lauerbach and debutant Bafdili had previously failed to equalize. After the recent 1 in 18 and the cup elimination in Knokke, a welcome point for KV Mechelen and interim coach Fred Vanderbiest.
On October 19, 2022, Standard was the very first opponent of Steven Defour as KVM coach. More than a year later, the club said goodbye to its head coach last Thursday. After the 1 in 18, the cup elimination against Knokke was the proverbial last straw: Defour exit. T2 Fred Vanderbiest may take over the torch (for a while). Apart from the injured Raemaekers and Storm (both cruciate ligaments), no Van Hecke and Hairemans are in the starting eleven. Konaté, Schoofs and Pflücke made an appearance alongside Bilal Bafdili. For the 19-year-old debutant – a youth product of Standard – it was a reward for his good performances at Jong KVM, where he scored four times in five matches, and especially for his excellent substitute against Knokke last Tuesday. He had to provide support to Lauerbach at the center, although he often dropped to midfield in the early stages. Walsh became ready to play after his open flesh wound against Cercle Brugge. At Standard, Laifis replaced the injured Ngoy. Djenepo was the victim after the 3-1 against AA Gent, Canak came in his place.
Closed match start
KV Mechelen opted for a solid organization and played no-nonsense. The criticized away football under Defour was omitted. The Rouches also showed patience, so we were looking at a closed start to the match. Konaté casually let the ball slip, but Kawabe was unable to capitalize. Coucke then passed under a high ball. Fortunately, Vanheusden’s header went into a corner via Foulon. A few seconds later, a scrimmage in front of Coucke’s cage again did not lead to a goal.
Kawabe does, Lauerbach not
The people of Liège wanted to give their prey a first bite and with Kawabe’s free kick it was bingo. Coucke stood transfixed by the Japanese man’s brushed curl. Malinwa had to work hard, but was lucky that Sowah, who had broken through, decided his shot too close to Coucke or it was 2-0. Scoring is not the easiest task for yellow-red this season and Lauerbach painfully illustrated that. He managed to score the equalizer after a clever cross from Foulon. However, the German rushed the ball into the stands very rashly. It typifies the total lack of confidence that Lauerbach is currently experiencing. Mrabti also targeted the Liège stands, albeit with a volley from twenty meters. On the other side, Sowah missed his shot.
Beautiful parade Bodart
There was more and more enthusiasm in the party and opportunities suddenly trickled down. Lauerbach crossed the back line on the left and put it back to Schoofs. The captain seemed to be going to score, were it not for Bodart’s stunning performance. KVM also had to be careful, because Hayden’s header went wide. However, it remained 1-0 until half time. Especially because Coucke Kanga still loved a second Liège goal.
Bafdili also encounters Bodart
The second half was underway about six minutes when Cobbaut infiltrated the opposing sixteen. He found Mrabti, who was able to break free for a moment and forced Bodart onto the turf. And the Swede made himself noticed again a little later. Beautifully sent deep by Schoofs, he cut inside and then targeted the far post. His attempt was a little too curled to hit the target. Mrabti was clearly looking forward to it, because during the next Mechelen attack he took on the role of declarant. Bafdili played around the edge of sixteen for a while, but then decided on Bodart. He certainly has courage and fast feet, but he is not (yet) the solution to KVM’s scoring problem. Although that was not immediately expected of the young boy. It was also his last achievement, because a little later he was replaced by Hairemans.
KV Mechelen’s final offensive failed to materialize until substitute William Balikwisha lent a helping hand. Mechelen’s substitute Antonio put good pressure on Bodart, after which Foulon managed to get hold of the leather. He laid wide for Schoofs and the 1-1 was a fact. An explosion of Mechelen joy was the result. The draw was no longer in danger afterwards and a well-organized Kavé under interim coach Fred Vanderbiest took a well-deserved point on the banks of the Maas.