Anderlecht won its first match of the season 2-0 against Ostend. The Purple & White certainly didn’t play flashy football, but they did take the full loot for the first time in four years in its opening match. Fabio Silva scored the reassuring 2-0 in the final on his debut.
Felice Mazzu chose the same eleven who won the gala match against Olympique Lyon 3-0, so with Refaelov next to Esposito in the front. Fabio Silva and Benito Raman started on the bench. At Ostend, Vanderhaeghe opted for youth product Andy Musayev and the only newcomer Fanos Katelaris. Robbie D’Haese started surprisingly on the bench.
Anderlecht started a little more cautiously than against Lyon, although a good action between Verschaeren and Refaelov provided a first chance. The Israeli crossed, but no one had followed.
Was it the heat or stage fright, no idea, but the pace of the match was more like one at the end of a season than at the beginning of a season. Verschaeren showed himself the most active, but he opted for a pass to Refaelov instead of finishing it himself. Ostend threatened to counterattack, with a strong Ambrose. He shot towards the goal after half an hour, although the ball flew over harmlessly.
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The Purple & White eventually needed a stationary phase to take the lead: Trebel cleverly controlled a falling ball and served Ashimeru, who finished in the far corner. KVO defender Medley was not doing his best by single-handedly lifting the offside trap for five (!) Anderlecht players.
After the break we got the same game picture: Anderlecht waited, and Ostend tried. The first chance came again after an action by Verschaeren, but instead of shooting himself, he wanted to serve Amuzu.
In the front Esposito tried to make something of it with the few balls he got, but every time he wanted to decide, there was an Ostend leg in the way. In the end Anderlecht still played with fire: the sharp Albanian and a good Sakamoto were always given too much freedom, but things went wrong with the last pass.
The last ten minutes Fabio Silva was allowed to relieve Esposito, and he immediately stood out: once with a good pass to Raman, but especially with a miss after a good center by Ishaq. In the end, the Portuguese made up for his mistake: after a long sprint, he blasted the ball hard into the far corner. In the end, KVO newcomer Katelaris received a red card and Hoedt hit the crossbar with a free kick.
The Purple & White took the three points on the opening day for the first time in four years, but the level has to be raised a lot in the coming weeks with a view to the important European qualifiers in August.