Sporting Lokeren coach Peter Maes and his Zulte Waregem colleague Francky Dury know one another inside out. They had both prepared a solid tactical plan and it worked. The match didn't see many opportunities. It became clear at half-time that the team that would score the first goal, would win the match and take the Cup home.
While Zulte Waregem had the better chances in the first half (with two attempts stranding against the post), Lokeren took control of the match after the break. They didn't give anything away, but the only goal of the match came as a surprise.
It was Danish defender Alexander Scholz who headed home a corner kick on 53 minutes. The replay showed that he jumped higher than his opponent Jens Naessens, hitting the ball with his shoulder. A kind of lucky goal it was, as the ball made a strange curve, only to drop just below the bar and hit the net seconds later.
Zulte Waregem could not bounce back from this setback, no matter how hard Golden Shoe and playmaker Thorgan Hazard tried. He was comforted by his brother Eden Hazard after the match. Eden had travelled from London to Brussels to watch the game (small photo).
Rising star Peter Maes: to stay or not to stay?
It is another success for Lokeren coach Peter Maes, one of the rising stars in Belgian football. With modest means, he built a strong team in Lokeren, an East-Flemish club which is not part of the traditional "Big 5" in Belgian football (Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Standard, KRC Genk and AA Gent). Maes focuses on team spirit, working hard and clear guidelines.
It is not sure where Maes' future (photo below) lies. Anderlecht and KRC Genk may well be looking for a new coach (unless their interim coaches would perform so well in the Play-off 1 competition that they can stay) and also AA Gent could pick a new coach as Mircea Rednic has not been able to convince so far. Maybe Peter Maes wants to take his career one step higher now, after a 4-year spell at modest Lokeren.
The rich Lokeren chairman Roger Lambrecht (small photo) has already said that he will do his best to keep Peter Maes "unless he wants to make a switch himself." 82-year-old Lambrecht has a tyre factory and is expected to make a major financial effort to keep his coach, but everything will depend on the intentions of Peter Maes.