READ ALSO. OUR ITEMS. Replacement Lamkel Zé cannot impress, the biggest bright spot at Antwerp played in the back
No Lamkel Zé in the base near Antwerp. The Cameroonian was not rewarded for his strong cup final and was allowed to take a seat (with a mouth mask) in the stands between the other invaders. In his place, Nill De Pauw made his debut. We also got a debutant between the posts: Jean Butez (ex-Mouscron) took the place of Matijas. As usual, the visitors had undergone a thorough facelift: Mouscron coach Da Cruz brought seven newcomers to the kick-off, six of which were mercenaries from Lille.
Was it the oppressive heat, the desolate sight of an empty Tawny Owl, or was the cup party still a bit heavy on the stomach? Whatever the reason, the game got off to an excruciatingly slow start. Mouscron neatly respected the social distance with the Antwerp goal and folded back en masse from the kick-off. Antwerp played football too slowly and uninspired to dismantle the Hainaut wall and had to wait more than half an hour for a first real goal chance. Pius headed a corner from Juklerod well to the corner, but the new Mouscron goalkeeper Hervé Koffi was able to reach it with a hand.
The national goalkeeper of Burkina Faso had to work again a little later. After a good attack, set up by Refaelov, he first repelled a bang from Haroun and the return of Juklerod was also cleverly floated off the roof of the target by the Burkinese who made a good first impression. His neighbor Jean Butez did not get that chance. Sinan Bolat’s successor saw one ball in the entire first half: a harmless long shot from Badibanga.
Shortly after the break, Antwerp nevertheless received its goal. De Pauw continued on the right and brought the ball low in front, Onana hung a bit too emphatically on Mbokani and Verboomen pointed to the dot. A job for Refaelov: the Israeli sent Koffi to one corner and placed the ball neatly in the other (1-0). The most difficult part of the job seemed to be done for Antwerp. Mouscron got stuck in his hedgehog position and let Antwerp continue to dominate quietly. Just after the hour, the home team came close to 2-0. Refaelov took his chance after a tight far ball from De Laet, but Koffi was again in the way.
Bakic from scratch
In search of the liberating second goal, Leko brought in Lamkel Zé for the last twenty minutes. To his dismay, however, he saw how a first real moment of Mouscron’s pressure immediately resulted in the equalizer. The Antwerp defense did not get rid of a corner, Agouzoul gave up for Bakic and the substitute brushed the ball wonderfully from outside the box past a hopeless Butez (1-1).
With the input of Nsimba and Benson, Leko did everything in his power to avert the loss of points. Lamkel Zé, Refaelov and Mbokani provided a few hot positions for dopel, but real world rescues Koffi no longer had to do to send Mouscron home with a flattered point. Antwerp thus starts the competition with avoidable loss of points. Mouscron is grabbing its first golden tip.
Antwerp: Butez, Seck, Junior Pius, De Laet, Buta, Hongla (67 ‘Lamkel Ze), Haroun, Juklerod (’85 Benson), Refaelov, Mbokani, De Pauw (80’ Nsimba).
Mouscron: Koffi, Ciranni, Agouzoul, Bocat, Antonov, Faraj (80 ‘Saglik), Hocko, Van Durmen (73’ Bakic), Onana, Badibanga (72 ‘Tabekou), Postolachi.
Goals: 49’ Refaelov (1-0 pen.), 78’ Bakic.
Yellow cards: 48 ‘Onana, 59’ Buta, 76 ‘De Laet.
Red cards: no
Ivan Leko: “Decompression is normal after historical performance ”
He already has the cup in his pocket. Not yet his first three-pointer in the league as coach of Antwerp. Ivan Leko reacted disappointed after the draw against Mouscron (1-1), but invoked mitigating circumstances. “In normal circumstances we always win this match”, said the Croat.
A week ago he flew into the arms of his staff members, this week Ivan Leko adhered to the corona guidelines after whistle. He didn’t have much reason to celebrate either. “I am disappointed with this result. Just like the supporters, the players and the rest of the staff ”, Leko spoke at the press conference afterwards. “We had counted on more than one point. But that’s just football. Mouscron had two balls between the posts and not a single goal attempt from within the box. We had five or six good chances and yet we play a draw. Under normal circumstances we always win this match. ”
‘Don’t blame players’
Leko then came up with a list of extenuating circumstances for his team. “First, it is normal for there to be some form of decompression after a historic performance like last week’s. Secondly, it was very tough to play football in temperatures between 35 and 38 degrees. Third, we felt the absence of our audience and fourth, Mouscron is not the most attractive opponent to charge you for. I can’t really blame my players. Everyone has done their job. We didn’t give anything away defensively and offensively we created enough to win this match. ”
No Zé at kick-off
That he put Lamkel Zé, one of the stars in the cup final, on the bench, Leko declared as ‘a choice of the staff based on what we saw during training this week.’ For the same reason, Ivo Rodrigues and new goalkeeper Beiranvand were not in the selection, according to Leko. “I have chosen the best 18 players depending on the team.”
Finally, Leko once again emphasized that this Antwerp, despite the cup win, is ‘not ready’. “I also said that after the cup final. We are not yet where we should be, but we are on the right track. Only by working hard will we continue to grow. ”
Jean Butez: “Disappointing when you have to make your debut like this”
No Davor Matijas in goal at Antwerp. The very young goalie had nevertheless done well in the cup. But Ivan Leko chose as expected for the slightly older Jean Butez between the posts, even to his ex-team Mouscron: “We have three goalkeepers, so I just entered the competition, as I always will do”, said Butez .
Butez was unemployed against his ex-club Mouscron, except for that one piece of Marko Bakic: “If you make your debut with little work and then get a goal like that, it is obviously disappointing”, Butez knew, who showed no special sentiment against his ex-club: “It was certainly not special, rather a match like any other. Just a pity that we did not manage to keep the three points at home against the block that Mouscron brought. ”
But that block held up relatively well, had some luck and Bakic saw that beautiful 1-1 within flames: “A nice goal, although I must admit that I did not really see that ball come well”, said Butez, who warned it so well. is with this Antwerp, because Mouscron will not be the last team to play at the Bosuil in this way: “A bang and a goal, those are things you experience against these kind of opponents. But already at half time we knew that Mouscron would play as a low block, and that we would make the difference ourselves. Unfortunately, that was not successful enough to keep the winnings at home ”, Butez concluded.
Summer acquisition Nill De Pauw: “If Ivan needs me, he can always count on me”
Antwerp coach Ivan Leko made two changes compared to last week’s cup final. Martin Hongla got his chance, but it was mainly looking forward to the debut of Nill De Pauw. The 30-year-old winger did not make a big impression, and was therefore replaced prematurely: “Well, there is so much talent in this group, and everyone will be allowed to prove themselves by the coach”, De Pauw thought in the press chat.
But first the match itself. Antwerp was boss against Mouscron. Early in the match, and it would continue. Refaelov managed a penalty kick, which made everyone think that the Great Old would, so to speak, run with their fingers in the nose for victory. However, nothing could be further from the truth, because the Henegouwers got one huge chance and also used it: “Mouscron played very defensive, but it will not be the only club that will descend on the Bosuil like this. And it also turned out that one chance is enough for them, so their 1-1 was the only downside for us ”, thought De Pauw. “It was up to us to finish those chances better ourselves, because we were certainly there on the defensive”, said the attacker, who was a bit unexpected in the base: “I don’t know that yet. But Leko knows he can count on me when he needs me, so when he asked if I was ready, I obviously didn’t hesitate. But it is still early to take stock, because there was already some incoming and outgoing traffic in terms of players, and that will not be over yet ”, knew De Pauw, who probably didn’t throw a party with the dressing room after the game. painful 1-1 against this Mouscron: “After the break we knew we would have to push ahead to make it 2-0. We did not succeed. So I think we can learn lessons after that 1-1, and that we have to learn even better to find the solution ”, said the ex-player of Lokeren.
Isn’t it a pity that Antwerp could not win against ‘only’ Mouscron, which impressed little or nothing except for the Bosuil, except for that one world goal? “The intention was certainly to win, especially with our coach. But you also know today: in these circumstances every match is a true final. Once again: Mouscron appeared to be very defensive, and we still have work to do in terms of efficiency. But that will be fine with players like Refaelov and Mbokani, I’m sure of that. On the other hand, there will be teams like Mouscron coming here, we have to realize that too. ”
And what about the circumstances? No people, the heat, it did not play into Antwrp’s hands: “Heat and no fans, yes. Well, you can invoke a lot of excuses, but I will not, that cannot be the intention. Now we have to make the analysis and soon be sharper in our actions ”, De Pauw once again made no bones about it. And finally: De Pauw may start, but the attacker was also replaced prematurely. Not a really nice entry to the Bosuil, right? “The coach absolutely wanted to win after that 1-1, he proved that with seven to eight attacking players on the field. Then you know that the team must be given priority, and I don’t have the slightest problem with that ”, De Pauw concluded.