Afte a crazy season, Racing Genk got the point they needed to be champions. On the night they got that point thanks to a superb performance by Genk’s young keeper Thibaut Courtois. He was absolutely sensational, making a string of superb saves especially in the second half. Standard deserved more on the night but over the season, Genk were worthy champions. The fact that they won by half a point was an absolutely perfect finish for this surreal season.
The whole match was played at a cracking pace, with Standard having much more of the play in the first half. Jelle Van Damme was particularly prominent but the whole Standard team started well and attacked from the off. After about 20 minutes, Genk’s Chris Mavinga attempted to kick the ball – very high – and caught Standard’s Mehdi Carcela full in the face. The Standard players were visibly affected by the scenes and Carcela was unconscious for some time. It later transpired that the Moroccan winger had a broken nose and fractured jaw.
Standard scored just before half-time with Eliaquim Mangala scrambling a goal when a cross from Van Damme was not cleared. The lead was deserved based on Standard’s pressure.
The second half was more even with Genk going for the goal that would give them the title. It eventually came with about 20 minutes to go when substitute Kennedy Nwanganga scored with a bullet header from a Daniel Toszer cross. Standard threw everything they could at Genk but found Courtois in the form of his young life. With three brillint saves in the last five minutes, Courtois gave Genk their third title. After the match, Courtois said he had just been doing his job.
So Genk are champions with Standard runners-up. That’s just about right.
Hey John, I'm the Finnish journalist you met briefly a few weeks ago at Anderlecht-Standard. Have been reading your blog and as a post-season comment: a great, insightful blog. Keep on going!
It was good to meet you. Thanks for comments, appreciated.
How long do you think Courtois will remain at Genk?
Very hard to say. One year at most. John