Antwerp again easily beats mediocre Lillestrom, Turkish Basaksehir awaits in the last preliminary round | Antwerp and Anderlecht in Conference League preliminary rounds

Conference LeagueAntwerp has its ticket for the last preliminary round of the Conference League. The Great Old defeated the Norwegian Lillestrom in the Bosuilstadion 2-0 in the return of the third preliminary round. The first leg in Norway ended 1-3 in favor of RAFC last week.

Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel, despite the comfortable lead after the first game, did not rotate and counted on veterans Toby Alderweireld, Ritchie De Laet and Radja Nainggolan. Antwerp and Lillestrom started the game rather sluggishly, partly due to the sweltering summer weather.

Gradually, the home team took more initiative and Pieter Gerkens missed the 1-0 from close range. A few minutes later it was price when Anthony Valencia, who was given his first starting spot, kicked in from a sharp corner after a pass from Nainggolan.


Lillestrom seemed to throw in the towel after the goal and Antwerp was lord and master. Valencia almost put his name on the scoreboard for the second time, but headed over from close range. The Great Old insisted, although it could not double the lead before half-time.

After the break there was little to do and Van Bommel threw in three fresh forces on the hour: Birger Verstraete, the barely 17-year-old debutant Arthur Vermeeren and Vincent Janssen. Viktor Fischer had also come in at halftime. Verstraete was immediately noticed, he was on the alert to head in a blocked shot from Janssen from close range.

The game was now completely over and Antwerp took its foot completely off the accelerator. While the home fans completed the final phase singing, Lillestrom shyly went in search of the honour-saver. Goalkeeper Jean Butez, however, stood firm.

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