Mark van Bommel has suffered his first defeat as Antwerp trainer. And that at a really bad time. The Great Old lost 1-3 against Basaksehir last night. A season without European football beckons.
If eleven Turks start to stretch after eight minutes, is it all? You can already guess the answer. And the Tawny Owl didn’t need much on Thursday evening. Even before kick-off, the tension in Deurne-Noord could be cut. The Great Old wanted to enter Europe, so it had to be won against Basaksehir.
The 0-1 after eight minutes was therefore inconvenient to say the least. Although Antwerp had to blame that early goal for a large part as well. With a long ball to the right, Pacho went too weak in the duel, which allowed Gurler to head through to Okaka. The ex-Anderlecht-Italian deviated to the right and chose Ozcan for goal. He got too much time and kicked inside the roof of the goal. Cursing in the stands. Have to say: Pacho did recover after his early slip.
The assignment for Antwerp also remained the same: to score – albeit twice now. Only the home team did not immediately succeed in pulling the sheet. Frey and co. wanted to, but the Turks played well under the Antwerp pressure at times. And, as said, don’t shy away from slowing things down a bit at times. To the frustration of Mark van Bommel and the public. The away fans went the extra mile. “Beerschot, Beerschot”, it sounded a few times jeering from the visitors’ section.
De Bosuil, however, continued to believe in it. With good reason, because Antwerp was not lacking in opportunities in the first half: the Great Old fired no fewer than eleven shots before half-time. Unfortunately for them without success. Ekkelenkamp, Miyoshi, Nainggolan: nobody got the ball in. Frey came the closest of all five minutes before half-time. After a colliding ball, the Swiss kicked from the edge of the sixteen in one time. Babacan struggled with it, but saved with his fists. Work on the Antwerp store after rest.
Antwerp started the second half full of fire. With even more pressure than in the first period. And the Turks had a problem with that. Goalkeeper Babacan in particular. He missed his control after a pass back from Ndayishimiye and saw Ekkelelenkamp steal the ball from his feet. Babacan mowed down the Dutchman, after which Schuettengeruber pointed to the dot. Frey did not hesitate and kicked the equalizer in the bottom right corner.
Antwerp could not enjoy the equalizer for long, because less than two minutes after the 1-1 Basaksehir was there again. After a dribble on the left, Chouiar made a good cross to Okaka. The Italian headed into the far corner and also scored a goal after an assist. Two goals from two shots within the box: in terms of efficiency, you don’t have to teach them anything in Turkey.
Antwerp now had half an hour to score twice, but even with fresh forces Janssen and Valencia – who had come to replace Frey and Miyoshi – the Great Old no longer managed to really get the visitors into trouble. Time ticked away mercilessly. Seven minutes before the end, Basaksehir turned the knife a little deeper into the Antwerp wound: Aleksic also headed in the third notable chance for the visitors: 1-3.
Mark van Bommel suffered his first defeat as trainer of Antwerp. And at the worst possible moment. The Great Old has to do without qualification for a European group stage for the first time in three seasons. Or how, after an energetic start to the season, there is suddenly a crisis atmosphere at the Bosuil.