At least this time they had the good idea to start the match in the first period. Perhaps because Toulouse is plunged into doubt and because it could be satisfied with a point, banking on the counter-attack. But also because the people of Brussels took things the right way from the first moments, unlike what they had done in Liverpool, Linz or even against TFC in the first leg.
Lacking ideas, the Union is stuck on the lawn of Toulouse and sees its European future compromised
Guillaume Restes had a big scare in the first half, when Puertas threw Amoura, who dribbled past Nicolaisen, before poking the ball over the international hopeful. This time, it was not the amounts that saved the Toulouse goalkeeper, but rather a return to the line from Diarra (19th). The opportunity was enormous, but was the only one in a first period where the Violets produced almost an organizational masterclass, confirming that Ligue 1 is not lacking in quality at this level.
The Toulouse attack didn’t have much to chew on, but Aaron Donnum wanted to show Belgium that he had taken on another dimension, again. The Norwegian, in many good shots, had paid off Machida then just had to roll up to exult a Stadium which justified its nickname of “little Wembley”. But Burgess saved his team from a perfect tackle, like the boss’ match he made this Thursday.
If the Union dominated instead, it was necessary to wait until the 68th for the corner of its supporters to reignite. Puertas and Rasmussen had struggled until then to find real shooting windows, but a dry strike from Puertas forced Restes to work. Five minutes later, the “Bleuet” demonstrated all his talent – and his success – by first displaying his reflexes against Machida… then seeing Amoura send the second ball just above (73rd). For the Algerian, it was the second three-star opportunity of the evening. Puertas then imitated him on a ball that the whole Union saw at the bottom (89th). It’s too much to hope to win in a competition where everything is a bit harder than in the Pro League.
A small miracle for 2nd place
The Union will have one last chance to qualify, provided they beat Liverpool on December 14 and see Toulouse lose to Linz… while restoring an unfavorable goal difference (-4 for the Union and -2 for Toulouse ). Suffice to say that the chances are slim, while LASK, beaten at Liverpool this Thursday, can only play for third place. The Union’s inability to win a single one of its three away games, in contrast to its record of nine out of nine last season, risks costing it the Europa League. It remains to secure third place, at least, so as not to lose everything.
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