KV Mechelen has continued its strong series on the coast. Against KV Oostende it seemed certain after one half, but the coastal boys still made it exciting. Just before the whistle, Geoffry Hairemans took care of the redemption and the 16 out of 18. KVM is now tied for second.
KV Oostende – KV Mechelen in a nutshell:
- key moment: It is getting hot under the feet of KV Mechelen after Jäkel’s connection goal. In the final minute, the substitute Hairemans shows up alone for Hubert and he makes it 2-4 very cleverly. Books.
- Man of the match: Storm whirled, as so often this season, before the break and Mrabti used his chances extremely efficiently, but Hugo Cuypers was once again invaluable to Malinwa. The attacker scored and gave a nice assist for the 1-3. The visiting supporters thanked him with a standing ovation after his replacement.
- Remarkable: The 7-2 pandoorig on the field of Anderlecht seems to have been a wake-up call for KV Mechelen. Since then, Wouter Vrancken’s team has not lost 7 games in a row.
Storm swirls on the coast
With 13 out of 15 KV Mechelen confidently descended to the coast, a victory could give them 2nd place in the standings. The match started fifteen minutes later. The supporters buses were in a traffic jam, referee Dierick whistled the 13th match day at 9 p.m.
The start of the game was not too much. Both teams struggled to keep the ball in their own ranks. The visitors did get a few smaller chances from the disorder with Storm and Cuypers.
Just before the half hour, Malinwa managed to convert his slight dominance into a goal. Fortes defended disastrously and so offered Storm the ball, who immediately gave in to Cuypers without thinking. The attacker did not hesitate and outwitted Hubert with a slide between the legs.
Ostend had a hard time with the quick outbreaks of the visitors. Just before half time, Mrabti also scored. Again Storm was down with an excellent cross, the Swedish shadow striker made it ice cold 0-2 at the far post.
Ostend was excited and did not get further than a bang in front of Ambrose. Blessin was visibly dissatisfied and spent a few minutes on the bench with his assistants after the end of the first half before heading to the changing rooms.
KVM still makes it difficult for itself
With substitutes Gueye and Bätzner, KV Oostende started the second half with renewed courage, but Mrabti had other plans. After good work by an elusive Cuypers, he scored a third Mechelen goal in a similar way as in the first half.
The game seemed to have 40 minutes to go, but the home side still had a sharp reaction in the house. A few minutes after the 0-3, Gueye already put his name on the scoreboard. The stadium bounced up and the level of Ostend went up in the air with a jerk.
Bätzner (just wide) and D’Haese (on the crossbar) came close to scoring, but the connecting goal only fell in the absolute final phase after a striking header from Jäkel. At KV Mechelen they got nervous and assistant coach Vanderbiest had to leave the neutral zone with a red card.
Ostend did what it could, but ran on a razor-sharp counter. Hairemans was sent to Hubert by Schoofs and made it 2-4 with a lovely place ball.
KV Mechelen shivered for a while in the lock, but eventually pulled the full loot over the line. Malinwa jumps 16 out of 18 to 2nd place in the standings, Ostend remains in 11th place in the gray middle bracket.
Vrancken: “There was only one team that wanted to play football”
- Wouter Vrancken (Coach KV Mechelen): “We let Ostend come into the game tonight, Hairemans’ decisive goal still caused a great release. We really deserved the victory, I think there was only one team that really wanted to play football.”
“We knew that they wanted to throw the balls in the penalty area with those two towers in the front. You have to keep playing concentrated and we made some mistakes there. That gave them energy and that was not necessary.”
“I certainly can’t complain about my team. It’s going well for the time being, it all looks very good. The way of playing football and the mentality is good.”
- Nikola Storm (KV Mechelen): “It’s good. I think we really deserve to win this match. We tried to play football, Ostend speculated more on the long ball. We put down a nice series, hopefully it will last.”
“Why was it so difficult in the second half? That makes sense if you concede a goal in a clumsy way. You know that they will play everything on everything, but in the end it is good that Geoffke (Hairemans) could finish it.”
Blessin: “This is how we fight against relegation”
- Alexander Blessin (coach KV Oostende): “My voice is gone after tonight. We don’t have that much experience as an opponent and then you have to bring everything you have in you. We are talking about the basics here and I just didn’t see that.”
“Fortunately, the substitutions have brought some more quality and then I have seen a team again. Before that it was terribly weak for 45 minutes. It always seems like they are waiting for me to make a few substitutions. We have to pick this up really quickly or we play against the degradation.”
“We just give them 3 great presents. We fall short in every position. I have to be really tough, it’s too little of everyone. We have less quality than last season, but then you have to fight for it. The basis is not good , the opponent was just constantly better.”
- Brecht Capon (KV Ostend): “At 0-3 you also have the feeling that the match is over. We manage to make up for a lot on enthusiasm, but we can’t be satisfied with this. A lot of quality is gone and you have to compensate for that with more more effort and struggle.”
“If that battle is not completely there either, then you will just lose a lot of games, that is the reality. We have been quite lucky in recent weeks and therefore we are still in pretty good shape in the standings. We are not succeeding for the time being to compensate for the lower quality, so you come up short against mature teams like Mechelen.”
“Thanks to the coach, we already have 17 points. I think everyone urgently needs to look in the mirror. It’s hard to take this, you can always be less but if you fail in the duels then you make it real to yourself very difficult.”