Antwerp wins over Genk and takes over leading position

Antwerp wins over Genk and takes over leading position
Antwerp coach Mark van Bommel encourages his troops

NOS Football

Mark van Bommel is currently the celebrated man in Belgium. The Dutch coach, who picked up the first top prize in his coaching career with the cup last week, is on course to take the first national title since 1957 for Royal Antwerp FC after a 2-1 win over KRC Genk.

At their own Bosuilstadion, Antwerp came behind. Club top scorer Vincent Janssen had the chance to shoot in the equalizer, but he failed from 11 meters. When Antwerp got another penalty kick shortly thereafter, Janssen left it to captain Toby Alderweireld, who did shoot.

Michel-Ange Balikwisha made the winning goal after halftime, allowing Antwerp to take over the lead from Genk.

Toby Alderweireld after his rakish penalty kick

At Antwerp, where Marc Overmars as technical director has the selection to his liking, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp had a starting place in addition to Janssen. Calvin Stengs came on immediately after halftime, while Gyrano Kerk had to wait until the closing stages to make his appearance.

Mini-competition for Belgian title

In Belgium, the top four teams compete for the championship after a regular competition. The points are halved and the teams play each other in a mini-competition away and at home. With four duels to go, Antwerp has a point more than Genk and Union Sint-Gillis after two wins. Club Brugge is hopeless for the title.

After the best start ever in club history – nine wins in a row – Antwerp then slumped slightly. It finished the regular competition in third place. In Europe, things already went wrong in the last preliminary round of the Conference League.

By winning the Croky Cup last week, Antwerp took its first prize of the season. A ceremony had already been announced at Antwerp’s city hall, but in view of the title fight, it was postponed for a while.

Kayleigh Williams