Belgian teams open Europa League campaign with wins

Belgium’s two representatives in this season’s UEFA Europa League both won their respective matches on Thursday evening. Standard de Liège bagged all three points in their game against the Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes with a 2-0 win. Later in the evening AA Gent beat the French side Saint-Etienne 3-2.

The current leader the Belgian First Division Standard de Liège played a slow and at times sluggish first half against the side that is currently 10th in the Portuguese First Division Guimaraes.

The best chance of the first half fell to Carcela. Gradually, Guimaraes created more chances. However, it wasn’t until the closing stages of the half that they had an effort on target.  Evangelista headed straight into the hands of Standard new keeper Milinkovic-Savic. The start of the second half was a continuation of the first. With Guimaraes defending strongly.

Fortunately for Standard the Portuguese side’s captain Hanin put the ball past his own keeper on 67 minutes and it was 1-0 to Standard.  Standard’s second goal came in the second minute of injury time through Mpoku. The result leaves Standard second in their group just behind their next opponents, last season’s finalists Arsenal. 

AA Gent victorious despite keeper’s own goal

A packed stadium saw AA Gent beat the French side Saint-Etienne 3-2 on Thursday evening. There was no shortage of goals in an eventful game. AA Gent’s Canadian attacker Jonathan David opened the scoring after just 3 minutes. Wahbi Khari made levelled the scored on 39 minutes. However, David’s second goal of the game 5 minutes later made for a half time score of 2-1 to the Buffaloes.   

There was drama in the second half with Saint-Etienne clubman Loïc Perrin put the ball past his own keeper on 66 minutes. A blunder by the AA Gent keeper Thomas Kaminski saw him score the second own goal of the game to make the score 3-2. AA Gent played a nervous final quarter of an hour, but came out deserved victors in what was an exciting game to watch.    

  

Bolcina/Photo News