“I watched Ronse playing,” Felice Mazzu said before the game. “They play good football and they are ambitious. They have some super fast players in their ranks. So we have to watch out. There are always surprises at this stage of the cup competition but with all due respect for our opponent, an elimination is out of the question,” the coach concluded.
A number of players were allowed to skip this game. “Because they played every minute up to now with international games on top of that. I am not afraid to make changes in my team. I have confidence in the capabilities of all my players,” thus our coach.
Compared to the team that beat Ostend, the starting line-up looked totally different. In goal Maarten Vandevoordt made his debut. In the back De Norre and Dewaest returned. Nygren, Wouters, Heynen and Ndongala featured in midfield and striker Onuachu welcomed Odey as his partner up front.
Ronse were all too happy to take on the role of underdog. “The difference in quality is not to our advantage. After all, our opponent is the reigning champion. I can only hope we are able to show our attacking qualities. There's only one thing we have to avoid at all cost, going behind early in the game," thus coach Sandy Casieris.
No goals at halftime.
Genk almost started the game with a one goal advantage. Immediately after kick-off Odey took of in the direction of goalkeeper Knipping only to chip the ball over. Maarten Vandevoordt intervened well on two consecutive attempts on goal from Cardon. In the meantime Ndongala had left behind his marker Foucart but his cross found no team mate in front of goal.
After 25 minutes Stephen Odey had a second goalscoring opportunity. It started with a steal and a smart ball through from Ndongala to the Nigerian. His shot deflected over the target. On the half hour mark the home team came peeking for the first time when Kyeremeh reached the touch line from the left. Pieters was unable to convert his ball back. Across the pitch Ndongala failed to head home from a Mæhle cross shortly after.
Towards the end of the first half Ronse came dangerously close to scoring. Cardon flicked on a cross from Foucart but Vandevoordt went down at full stretch. On the brink of half time our goalkeeper wouldn't have had a single chance against a cracker from Cardon but luckily for him the shot went over. Seconds later Lekehal shot wide on the rebound. So the scoreboard remained blank at half time.
Odey breaks the deadlock.
Ronse started sharply in the second half. Lekehal hooked to his right but his shot was easy to gather for Vandevoordt. Seconds later Foucart put in a cross from the right, Kyeremeh lunged forward only to head it wide. Shortly before the hour the guests scored. Ndongala freed Mæhle who made the cross but goalkeeper Knipping managed to fingertip the ball away. It landed for Odey to break the deadlock for Genk.
Ten minutes later Ito went down in the area after a shoulder challenge from Thissen and referee Boterberg pointed at the spot. Heynen converted the penalty. The home team's resiliance broke and with seven minutes left Onuachu headed home a third from an Ito cross. A small extra push in the second half was enough to progress into the round of sixteen in the Croky Cup.
K.S.K. Ronse line-up: Knipping, Foucart, Makonga, Dauchy, Thissen, Appiah (63’ Lambo), Kyeremeh, Lekehal (72’ Griffiths), Cardon, Mazouz and Pieters.
KRC Genk line-up: Vandevoordt, Mæhle, Cuesta, Dewaest, De Norre, Heynen, Wouters, Nygren (60’ Ito), Ndongala(72’ Paintsil), Onuachu and Odey.
59’ : 0 – 1 : Odey
70’ : 0 – 2 : Heynen (penalty)
83’ : 0 – 3 : Onuachu
Bookings: 69’ Thissen
Referee: Jan Boterberg