Thanks to one of his best forty-five minutes of the season, KV Mechelen deservedly kept the three points at home against KV Kortrijk. Goals from Storm after a brilliant attack, Mrabti and Ngoy erased hits from De Neve and Kadri. A firm boost for Malinwa, who, with beautiful one-time football, at times was reminiscent of the Kavé under Wouter Vrancken. With the cup defeat, it was already KV Kortrijk’s third loss against Malinwa this season.
With KV Kortrijk, which took 9 out of 12, KV Mechelen was presented with a team in good shape. While Steven Defour only replaced Van Hecke for Mrabti, Bernd Storck made three changes compared to the team that won the relegation topper against Seraing on Wednesday. Top scorer Avenatti was on one yellow card from suspension and was kept on the bench with a view to the clash with Ostend next week. Messaoudi and Kadri also disappeared from the team. Gueye, Wasinski and De Neve kicked off.
Malinwa was pretty much the black beast of KVK this season. Not only did it win the first leg with heavy 1-4 figures in the Guldenspoorstadion, it also knocked the West Flemish out of the Belgian cup. So time for rehabilitation, the Kortrijk residents thought. Still, it was the yellow-red that got off to the best start. Goalkeeper Vandenberghe was attentive when Storm was guided through the offside trap. A subtle heel from Mrabti just missed out on Schoofs. The leather went well from foot to foot. Mrabti tried after a good counter-attack with a too weak shot. There was quite a bit of space – it reminded us of last week’s meeting with Ostend – and Storm was allowed to walk again. However, he delayed just a little too long to pass Da Cruz, who was now offside. He did that again after an admittedly fine action when he pushed through on the left and just couldn’t reach Da Cruz.
Lid on the nose
The match fizzled out a bit. A busy Da Cruz tried, but the visiting defense showed no cracks. Then again from a distance, Mrabti thought. His attempt flew a few feet wide. Malinwa was boss, although it got the lid right on the nose just past the half hour. Bates got out, but missed his interception. Gueye ran off with the ball and served De Neve, who left Coucke without a chance. A very flattering lead for KV Kortrijk at that time. Egg so after, the plates immediately hung in balance again. Good cross Van Hoorenbeeck, Mrabti just couldn’t reach the ball.
Attack from the book
Still, it was only a postponement, because after a brilliant attack, Storm brought the home team alongside. Bates, Hairemans, Walsh: three stations before Mrabti put the ball to Storm. The winger charged at Vandenberghe, squeezed in and unceremoniously shot in his second of the season. However, it was not the final chord of the first half. After Coucke stopped a free kick from Selemani without any effort, KV Mechelen struck again mercilessly. Joao Silva handed in stupidly, Da Silva served Hairemans, who found Mrabti. The Swede nodded the ball in the far corner, so that KVM went into the break with a deserved lead.
Silva immediately victimized
Storck apparently couldn’t laugh at his defender’s blunder, because Silva was allowed to stay in the dressing room during the break. Kadri joined in. The Algerian was immediately noticed with a flight shot next to Coucke’s cage. Da Cruz did find the frame on the other side, Vandenberghe went flat well. The home team had not learned its lesson in the meantime, because after a free kick that was headed away, Kadri again left far too much space. The substitute now brushed the leather between the posts and Coucke was beaten. The duel remained a pleasant sight at times. When Storm found Schoofs with a heel and a small dose of windfall, the leather came via Da Cruz to the completely detached Hairemans. De Deurnenaar proved that his right foot is not his best and decided weakly on Vandenberghe.
Three substitutions at KV Mechelen
Given the course of the match, KV Mechelen could not be satisfied with a draw and Defour intervened. Bolingoli, Van Hecke and Ngoy came on. And those substitutions were immediately successful. First Storm, served by Van Hecke, hit the post. A few seconds later, he took on the role of assister, as substitute Ngoy clinically put his discard in the Kortrijk goal. A nice feeling for Malinwa, because the three previous matches in which the striker scored this season, won all three. It was indeed his last action for Storm. He got injured and was replaced by Malede. The home team managed to hold on to the lead and put KV Kortrijk over the knee for the third time this season, so that it can gradually start looking upwards. The West Flemings will receive Ostend next week in a six-point match for preservation.