This was the first home rivalry game Alex had been in charge of and it was against 11 point leaders AA Gent, and that was after the points had been halved.
N’Djeng’s goal had earned him the start against AA while Mechele stepped in for Engels and Simons started. He would have to contend with AA’s star man M’Bark Boussoufa who had been tearing up the Belgian league and was a big contender for Belgian Player of the Year.
Brugge got the game underway in a jam packed and very loud Jan Breydel Stadiumthe fans were willing his side on to win the local derby. After 8 minutes Gedoz got the fans on their feet with a great run that was ended when he was tripped to win Brugge a free kick. Gedoz stood over the free kick and whipped in a cross Mitrovic reached up to head the ball away but, he mistimed his jump and the ball passed over him and on. The ball kept going and De Bock stuck out his foot and the ball changed angles and slipped just inside the post to put Brugge ahead. De Bock celebrated his first goal for Brugge wildly and the stadium got even louder.
Nothing happened for the next half hour as Gent fouled away and Alex complained about the lack of bookings. At forty minutes Gent had committed 10 fouls. Soon after De Bock had a throw in deep in the Gent half. De Bock played a 1-2 with Simons then cut the ball back to Vanaken on the edge of the box. The ball was played out wide to Meunier he ran into empty space and hit in a cross. N’Djeng and his man went down in the box to howls of protests from the Brugge fans. The ball rolled on though and Gedoz fired in a simple tap in from 5 yards out. The stadium exploded again as Gedoz pulled off an impressive flip to celebrate. Alex was thrilled as well. He wasn’t getting sacked in the morning.
Gent kicked off and kept hold of the ball for a bit. Kums started to dictate play in the Brugge half. The ball was played wide to Wikhiem and he slid the ball inside to Boussoufa. He took a touch and turn. Despite the tight angle and Butelle’s effort the ball nestled in the back of the net as Boussoufa had hit a shot just inside of the far post. Alex was annoyed as he had hoped to go in two up at halftime and silenced the crowd.
“Come on that has to be a booking.” Alex yelled as N’Djeng was taken down by Nielsen. A foul was given and that was it. N’Djeng wasn’t getting up though and instantly signalled for a sub. Thierry went on and agreed. Vossen replaced him with seconds left in the half.
“We can do this the stadium is buzzing get out there get the fans back into the game and get the win.” Alex made a second change Mechele had been poor and was replaced by Engels who Alex had more faith in.
Two minutes into the half Brugge had a corner and Alex saw something. “Hit in now” He screamed. He was pretty sure Vanaken didn’t here him but saw the same thing. He hit in the corner deep where Engels had no one within six yards of him. Engels jumped high in the air and hit a header back across goal, over the keeper and in. Engels was off celebrating another goal, for a centre back he scored a ton of goals he had 12 in 55 games for Brugge. The stadium erupted again as Brugge regained there two goal lead.
Ten minutes later Gent had a throw in deep in the Brugge half. It was thrown into the box to Depoitre. Simons went to close him down and when he got near Depoitre hit the ground and to the shock of the Brugge fans the ref pointed to the spot. Alex let the fourth official know what he made of the call as Boussoufa stepped up. Butelle guessed the correct side but could do nothing about the pen which flew into the top corner.
After 58 minutes Brugge had another corner. Vormer whipped it in and Vanaken rose high above everyone else and powered a header. It looked to be going in but, thudded off of the post and was booted into row z by a defender.
With ten minutes left all was looking good to Alex they still had the lead and weren’t letting Gent push up at all. Genk pushed forwards and suddenly Meunier and Boussoufa were racing for a loose ball. Meunier got there first and went down in pain when Boussoufa slid in late for it. Yet again Alex was perplexed by the lack of a booking and then concerned when Meunier failed to get up and his face was screwed up in pain. Thierry went on and signalled for a sub. Cools made a quick warm up and was on at right back for the last ten minutes.
With 3 minutes left Brugge had a throw in up in the Genk half. De Bock threw it in to Vanaken who played it across the pitch to Ebert. He took a touch and played in Vossen. One on one to win the game Vossen shot and his shot flashed past the post and out for a goal kick.
It didn’t matter as Alex’s side held on to beat last years Champions and almost certainly this years champions. A good win over a rival and Alex was pleased.
The result combined with the loss by OHL pushed Club Brugge up to 2nd place one point ahead of OHL and two of Anderlecht.
Alex went to go and see Thierry about the injuries his team had suffered. “How bad were they?” He asked
“Both of them have the same thing.”
“Is that good news or bad.” A nervous Alex asked.
“Neither really. Both will miss 6-7 weeks with sprained ankles so not to bad. They are likely done for the season as a result.”
“Damn, oh well what can you do?” Alex asked rhetorically.