KV Mechelen started as the favourites before their home crowd. A win, a draw or even a small defeat (with no more than two goals) would be sufficient to qualify for the play-off 2 final.
"Malinwa", as the yellow-red team is dubbed, enjoys an excellent home reputation and no fan had thought that "the impossible" could still happen. But it did: KV Mechelen were stunned by Westerlo (photo above) and lost the match 3-1.
Aleksandr Jakovenko made it 1-0 for Westerlo after only 13 minutes of play. Jaime Ruiz doubled the score on 24 minutes. Mechelen were back in the game after a penalty (2-1) but Westerlo were not impressed. After 63 minutes, Lens Annab made it 3-1, steering Westerlo to the final. Malinwa fought hard, but Westerlo controlled the game. KV Mechelen were left empty-handed (photo left).
Westerlo will now meet Racing Genk in the play-off final. The winner of that knock-out match (with a home and away game) will eventually meet the number 4 of the play-off 1 competition to fight for a place in the Europa League next season. The current number 4 in play-off 1 is Sint-Truiden.
Belgian football fans are already dreaming of a clash between KRC Genk and Sint-Truiden, which would a traditionally hard-fought Limburg derby.
Other results yesterday:
Sint-Truiden - Zulte Waregem 1-2
Cercle Brugge - Lokeren 1-1