Royal Antwerp FC – Union SG (Croky Cup): 1-0 (4-3 on penalties)
Our Unionists went to Antwerp for the second leg of the semi-final of Belgian cup against Royal Antwerp FC. They won the first leg 1-0 thanks to a header from Bart Nieuwkoop, so a ticket for the final in Heysel Stadium was still realistic for both teams. Oussama El Azzouzi came to strengthen the midfield and Siebe Van der Heyden was back in coach Geraerts’ starting team after his suspension.
From the first whistle, the team from Antwerp put a lot of pressure on Union’s defense and the first big chance was for Antwerp. Janssen got the ball from Ekkelenkamp, but his shot ended up in the arms of Moris. Union answered moments later with Siebe Van der Heyden who got the ball after a deviated shot from Senne Lynen, but unfortunately couldn’t find the target. Union’s number 94 Loïc Lapoussin had a good chance but unfortunately couldn’t find the back of the net. 0-0 at half time.
On the 54th minute, Antwerp put pressure on Senne Lynen on the counterattack and Oussama El Azzouzi fouled outside the box to stop the momentum. Moments later, Vincent Janssen’s freekick went straight into Moris’ net to make it 1-0 for Antwerp. The Dutchman could have doubled the lead during the 62nd minute but this time he hit the post. Antwerp dominated, but Union continued to fight for an equalizer. Yorbe Vertessen headed the ball over the defense to Boniface but he couldn’t find the target either. After 90 minutes the score was 1-0 and both teams prepared for extra time.
After the 90th minute, the home side had another chance thanks to Pacho, but captain Teuma managed to stop the ball on the line. At the other end of the pitch, the Unionists had the opportunity to equalize thanks to a counter-attack. Yorbe Vertessen opted for a shot outside the box, but was not decisive. Still no winner after 120 minutes over the two games. So it was time for a penalty shootout. Despite a save from Anthony Moris on Vincent Janssen’s penalty, Union weren’t able to beat Antwerp.
An unfortunate ending to a memorable evening for the Unionists that came out in force!