Comfortable 3 - 0 victory over Westerlo.
Genk were up against only ten men for almost the entire game. Nevertheless it wasn't until the second half they managed to clinch the game.
Coach Mario Been was aware of the importance of the game against Westerlo all too well. "That's why I don't want to hear the word "Valencia" until after Saturday's game," he said beforehand. A part from the injured Joneleit, Masuero, Simaeys and Grimi, Anele was not on the squad sheet either. The South-African was given a disciplinary suspension by his coach after he returned from international duties too late once again. Vanden Borre took over his spot at right full back. Camus started the game in midfield. Up front Barda teamed up with Vossen.
Jan Ceulemans on the other hand was fully aware of the fact that Saturday's game might well be his last chance. Even though club manager Wijnants kept expressing his confidence in his coach. Westerlo too were troubled by a series of injuries. Arbitman, who feared to be out for a long time, was fit enough to take a place on the bench.
Westerlo a man down after only ten minutes.
In the opening ten minutes play went up and down nicely. Genk had two excellent opportunites to open the score. Vossen hit the post at the first one, Deelkens was quicker to the ball on the second. On the other side Delen was twice close to scoring the opening goal for Westerlo. Then, all of a sudden, Wils lost it. First he pulled down De Bruyne, then he cowardly planted his studs in the fallen Genk midfielder's back. Referee Makkelie had no other option but to show him a red card. Nevertheless Westerlo had the next excellent opportunity when De Bruyne had to clear a header by Van Hout off the line.
Genk were unable to benefit from their numeric advantage. They couldn't do more than a couple of half chances from Tözsèr and Vossen. Deelkens had to go at full stretch on an attempt by Barda and Camus curled a free kick over the target. That was it. All in all Westerlo had no difficulty to keep a clean sheet at the interval.
Vossen breaks the deadlock.
With excellent opportunites for Vossen and Camus Genk kicked off the second half best. Then the game got bogged down. Genk's intentions were good, their creativity substandard. At the same time Westerlo kept all their players, except Liliu, behind the ball. Shortly after the hour, Vossen finally broke the deadlock. An excellent ball through by Barda teed him up alone in front of Deelkens. The Genk striker kept his cool and hit the target with a nice chip. Three minutes later Barda clinched the game. Limbombe set him up and the Israeli cunningly outsmarted Deelkens with a ball in the far corner.
Genk decided the game with two split second actions and immediately shifted a gear down. Westerlo, down to ten, were unable to react and the home team felt no need to push through. Nevertheless they scored a third goal. Barda teed up De Bruyne through the heart of Westerlo defense, he brilliantly went past his marker and dropped the ball beyond Deelkens into the net. Been immediately granted Barda and Tözsèr some rest. In their place came Benteke and debutant Peeters. Genk comfortably kept control over the game, they created some minor chances through Benteke and Limbombe but they didn't score anymore. The easy 3 - 0 win allowed the bluewhites to fully concentrate on next Wednesday's game against Valencia.
KRC Genk line up : Köteles, Vanden Borre, Hyland, Nadson, Pudil, Tözsèr (81’ Peeters), Camus (60’ Limbombe), Buffel, De Bruyne, Vossen and Barda (81’ Benteke).
KVC Westerlo line up : Deelkens, De Greef, De Petter, Wils, Dekelver (77’ Arbitman), Liliu (77’ Annab), Thiago, Van Hout, De Smet (24’ Cabeke), Delen and Adams.
64’ : 1 – 0 : Vossen.
67’ : 2 – 0 : Barda
79’ : 3 – 0 : De Bruyne
Yellow cards : 10’ Deelkens (dissent), 30’ Vossen (dissent)
Red cards : 10’ Wils (deliberate foul)
Referee : Makkelie (Hol)
Attendance : 21.858