The change of coach has not immediately caused the big turnaround at Anderlecht. It remained in the Conference League with a 2-2 draw against FCSB, which is well last in the group. The Purple & White can already be eliminated at 10.45PM tonight, depending on the result between West Ham and Silkeborg.
The debut of the Dutch (interim?) trainer Robin Veldman was one without too many surprises in the line-up, although he did play 4-2-3-1 and not with two strikers, like Mazzu. Amuzu, Refaelov and Verschaeren supported Silva. Veldman himself led the warm-up and didn’t feel too bad about throwing the balls for head exercises in person.
The opening phase was even with small chances on both sides. Amuzu tried several times from his left flank, but he couldn’t reach anyone. At Steaua, Edjouma headed over. Anderlecht, meanwhile, increasingly demanded the ball, but that only led to opportunities in dribs and drabs. Just before half an hour, Amuzu headed through to Silva, who tried a lob and aimed past.
After the half hour, the Romanians became more dangerous. First there was Miculescu who headed wide, then Popescu who shot at goalkeeper Van Crombrugge from afar. However, it was the Purple & White that could go into the break with a lead. Murillo, who was playing a weak game, however, brought in from the right and Verschaeren put the 1-0 into the net in one time.
Anderlecht could almost double their lead before the break, because Verschaeren played on Silva, who just couldn’t score with his heel. The visitors also came very close to scoring at the end of the first half. With a free kick from just outside the box, Radunovic kicked Van Crombrugge.
The second half was closed for a long time. The Purple & White left the ball to FCSB for a while and waited for a mistake by the Romanians. Just before the hour Amuzu broke through and came with a cross, but Murillo did little with it. Verschaeren then berthed from afar, goalkeeper Tarnovanu saved. The goal fell on the other side. On a cross by Radunovic, the substitute Compagno headed through between Vertonghen and Hoedt. Anderlecht’s central duo was taken cold and had to redo everything.
Everyone was sleeping
Anderlecht did not immediately have an answer ready for the equalizer. There was no wind, except for a header by Vertonghen that went wide, until Amuzu came face to face with Tarnovanu fifteen minutes before the end. He failed to beat the FCSB goalkeeper, but the ball went into a corner. Verschaeren aimed for Vertonghen, who headed the 2-1 into goal untenable.
The loot had not yet arrived for Anderlecht. First a long shot from Dumiter deviated dangerously, but Van Crombrugge was able to save. He failed to do that a minute later when everyone was asleep at a corner. Dawa could just tap the 2-2 in the basket. Substitute Duranville then tried with a shot from about ten yards, but Tarnovanu made the save. The Purple & White didn’t get any further, and in the final Murillo was also ruled out with his second yellow card. So another painful evening.
Anderlecht now has five out of fifteen in the Conference League. That is one point less than Silkeborg, who still plays against West Ham at 9 pm. If the Danes win, the Purple & White European story will end prematurely. In the other case, Anderlecht will play a direct duel next week for a place in the eighth finals in Silkeborg. FCSB now has two points, West Ham has twelve.
Anderlecht: Van Crombrugge, Murillo, Hoedt, Vertonghen, Ndiaye, Diawara (61′ Ashimeru), Arnstad, Refaelov (61′ Stroeykens), Verschaeren, Amuzu (76′ Duranville), Silva
FCSB: Tarnovanu, Cretu, Dawa, Tamm, Radunovic, Oaida, Edjouma (88′ Dulca), Olaru (46′ Radaslavescu), Miculescu (90′ Stoica), Popescu (64′ Coman), Dumiter (46′ Compagno)
Goals: 38′ Verschaeren (Murillo) 1-0, 60′ Compagno (Radunovic) 1-1, 75′ Vertonghen (Verschaeren) 2-1, 83′ Dawa 2-2
Yellow cards: 44′ Murillo, 67′ Compagno, 87′ Coman, 88′ Hoedt, 89′ Miculescu
Red cards: 90′ Murillo (2x yellow)
Referee: Manfredas Lukjancukas