Antwerp keeps the maximum of the points. In Eupen it did not go without a fight, but the number one team did win again: 0-1 after an own goal by Lambert. Antwerp can start the matches against Basaksehir with confidence.
Nathan Verboomen dares. Head referee Jan Boterberg pointed decisively to the penalty spot just before half-time after a not too smart foul by Ritchie De Laet, but VAR Verboomen ruled that the error was committed outside the box. We assume that Verboomen was sure of his point, there was more division in the press room. 0-0 at half time.
If there was one team that deserved to take the lead, it was Antwerp. The visitors, supported by an impressive twelfth man, played adult football and had the best chances. Frey decided on Eupen-goalie Moser, Alderweireld’s very distant attempt went just wide, Gerkens and Nainggolan aimed.
At the break Mark van Bommel made one substitution: we got the debut from Jurgen Ekkelenkamp. Antwerp was the first to threaten via Nainggolan, but Eupen came closest to the opening goal: Kral headed the crossbar. At the hour, Van Bommel thought it was time to intervene again: now Janssen and Valencia came in. The duo had to provide more momentum and goal danger.
Antwerp had trouble finding the spaces, it was all a bit too stereotypical, but after a good combination the 0-1 came. Ekkelenkamp and Valencia set up a one-two punch, after which Lambert unhappily knocked his own keeper. The accompanying supporters celebrated exuberantly, they had also seen that it was not a walk-over.
Butez still had to unpack with two fantastic saves in the end, thanks to him it remained 0-1. Antwerp will start the competition with twelve out of twelve. The Great Old now faces a crucial 10-day run: the double confrontation against Basaksehir in the Conference League play-offs will greatly affect the atmosphere around the club. For now it is excellent, it is now important to keep it that way.
Eupen setup: Moser – Van Genechten, Lambert, Kral, Davidson – Deom (72′ N’Dri), Christie-Davies – Magnee (89′ Offerman), Nuhu (76′ Magee), Charles-Cook – Prevljak
Antwerp setup: Butez – De Laet, Alderweireld, Pacho, Vines – Yusuf, Gerkens (46′ Ekkelenkamp), Nainggolan (81′ Verstraete) – Miyoshi (62′ Valencia), Frey (62′ Janssen), Balikwisha (90+3′ Avila)
Goals: 78′ 0-1 Lambert (own goal)
Yellow cards: 15′ Christie-Davies, 19′ Kral, 42′ Lambert, 70′ Prevljak
Red cards: /
Referee: Jan Boterberg
Number of spectators: 2.902