Club Brugge is one victory from a new national title. In Jan Breydel, Union was allowed to dream of a fairytale for a long time, but the visitors failed several times to finish great opportunities against a strong Mignolet. A second yellow card for Machida turned the game on the hour. The unfortunate own goal will haunt Union for a long time, as will Nielsen’s ultimate disallowed equalizer.
Club Brugge – Union in a nutshell:
- Key moment: Crazy joy at Union when Nielsen in the end equalizes with a nice shot, but the VAR provides a painful anticlimax. The hit is disallowed due to prior offside, Union is left defeated.
- Man of the match: Simon Mignolet is without a doubt the bogeyman of Union this season. He prevented an early goal from Lazare, also kept Undav from 0-1 shortly before the break and foiled another goal from Lazare after the break.
- Remarkable: Union could only take 1 point in 4 mutual duels with Club Brugge this season and did not manage to score against the defending champion. Club Brugge is the only team that Union could not beat this season.
Mignolet keeps Club afloat
Union had processed last Sunday’s blow, that became clear after just 19 seconds. On a pass from Lapoussin, Lazare took the ball perfectly into the box and from a sharp angle he decided on Mignolet.
The tone was set, Union got off to a strong start and Club didn’t get to play football. Only after 20 minutes did the defending champion get more grip on the match. That did not yield much more than a surprising corner kick where Lazare Moris assisted.
Union ended the first half as it had started: with a good chance. Mitoma sent Undav away in the box. The German striker aimed between Mignolet’s legs, but she closed them just in time. Once again the goalkeeper kept Club afloat with a crucial save.
Mignolet prevents the 0-1 after just 19 seconds:
Exclusion Machida kills Union
Immediately after the break, Mignolet did that trick again. Lazare scored in one go on a low cross from Vanzeir, but even now the Club goalkeeper was just able to thwart the 0-1. The turning point followed a few minutes later. Machida knocked out the broken Adamyan and took his second yellow card.
With a man more smoke and Club seized his chance. On three occasions, Hendry came close to 1-0, but Moris made two saves and Bager cleared the line. Union eventually cracked under the pressure. Moris couldn’t catch a shot from Buchanan and pushed the ball against Bager. The attempt disappeared into goal via the unfortunate goalkeeper.
Another blow to Union, but the visitors didn’t give in. Undav tested Mignolet’s reflexes again and missed a huge opportunity ten minutes before the end when he narrowly headed past the goal from close range. The equalizer seemed to come at the last minute when Nielsen took the lead, but the VAR put a stop to it.
The turning point, Machida takes his second yellow card: