[ROUND 14] Convincing win for AFC Tubize
In an exciting final match day of the Ouverture tournament (Opening half of the season), AFC Tubize took on Cercle Brugge at home, looking to pull away from the bottom of the table with a win. AFC Tubize stood 6th in the league prior to the match, with only 3 points separating 4th place and last. They needed to make sure to came out with a positive result to end the first half of the season. Meanwhile Lierse SK and KSV Roeselare both looked to win their matches for a chance at advancing to the promotion playoffs, which is played by the winners of each half of the season.
AFC Tubize brought out a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for the afternoon. Thibault Rausin started in goal for the first time in league play this season with Quentin Laurent and Salomon Nirisarike in front of him as the two central defenders. Suspension returnee Emeric Dudouit and regular starter Alan Pires started as the right and left full back. Ibrahima Ba and Mario Babic were stationed as the central defensive midfielders with Megan Laurent starting at attacking midfield. The striker and the two wingers were the usual starters, Mamadou Diallo up top with Sega Keita and Simon Zenke on either side of him.
It was the visitors who took control of the match early on, with AFC Tubize showing their early game problems yet again. They were dominated right from the start and gave away a clumsy penalty kick in the 19th minute, which was converted by Cercle Brugge’s #77 Ivan Yagan. After conceding however, AFC Tubize began to work the ball into the visitor’s box and create chances. In the 25th minute Simon Zenke hit the cross bar with a sizzling shot and three minutes later, Mamadou Diallo failed to convert a good chance as he put the ball just wide of the post. The first half would end 0-1 to the visitors.
AFC Tubize came out stronger and sharper in the second half, controlling almost all of the possession and didn’t let Cercle Brugge leave their own half. In the 63rd minute, after the ball bounced around in front of the opponent’s goal, Simon Zenke got his debut goal for AFC Tubize, finishing calmly with a placed shot at goal. They kept on pushing Cercle Brugge towards their own goal and pressed hard In chase of another goal.
10 minutes after the equalizer, Kevin Lefaix came on for Megan Laurent and just 3 minutes later, he got the winning goal of the match. Simon Zenke took the ball around a couple defenders and hit a hard, low shot, which the goalkeeper failed to clear wide and Kevin Lefaix pounced on the chance to make it 2-1 to the home side. After another 10 minutes, Sega Keita and Mario Babic came off for Levan Shengelia and Yohan Betsch. Again, coach Regis Brouard’s decision proved to be right again as AFC Tubize scored off a brilliant team play with Mamadou Diallo just flicking the ball on to Alan Pires for a good solid finish and made the game 3-1.
AFC Tubize kept on trying for more goals even when the game was in hand. Eventually they found the back of the net with Simon Zenke heading the ball just past the goalkeeper at the far post, bringing his tally in the game to two. The match would end 4-1 to AFC Tubize and with the win, they jumped up one spot in the league table and finished the first half of the season in 5th place. KSV Roeselare scored the winner in the last minute of their game to finish 1st and advance to the promotion playoffs.
They start the second half of the season next week against KSV Roeselare away on November 12th, at 08:30 PM(LT).