Premier Section Match Report – KV Mechelen 2 – 1 Ponte Preta

Jul 26, 2016 | Premier Section | 0 comments

A last gasp winner by KV Mechelen’s Mohamed Zeroual stole the points in what was a feisty affair, against Brazilian’s Ponte Preta on the rain drenched pitch at Rugby Avenue.

The Belgians had taken the lead early in the first half when Daniel Jubitana finished off a fine run down the left wing by Maxime Gody.  If Gody was cuasing problems down the left wing for the Belgians, his partner in crime, Lucas Verhaeghe, was causing absolute havoc down the right flank with some excellent runs, giving the Brazilian left back a torrid time.

As the first half wore on, the Brazilians still had not shown much quality on the ball, with the game becoming very congested in the middle of the park.  Their front 3 of Mateus, Gabriel Diaz and Lyncon showed some great movement, however, their teammates were struggling to find them with the ball.

It should really have been 2-0 to the Belgians, with Gody again charging down the left but he chose to cut in this time, sending a right footed drive inches by the inside post.

It was towards the end of the first half that the game started to heat up, which would set the tone for the rest of the contest.  First of all, a poor challenge by Mechelen’s Anton Wouters on Lyncon led to the first booking, but it could easily have been a red.  After the restart, only a few seconds had passed when Ponte Preta’s Leonardo Cabocio jumped in high against Simon Vereeck.  Again, the referee produced a yellow card but may have considered more.

The Brazilians started the second half much better and they should have had an early equaliser through Lyncon.  They kept the pressure on the Belgians and managed to win a couple of free kicks in very dangerous positions.  However, the quality of the set pieces were uncharacteristically poor.

Despite this pressure, they were almost caught out by another fantastic run from Verhaeghe,  who skipped by a couple of defenders and unleashed a cracking shot towards goal, only to see PP keeper Guilherme tip the ball over at full stretch.

However, the defence of Mechelen were breached, although you could say sunk, as they were on the end of a 25 yard screamer from Ponte Petra’s no.6 , Bismarck.  The central midfielder picked the ball up in a seemingly innocuous position, but a quick turn and run saw him pick out the top corner, leaving keeper De Shoenmaeker watching it go by.

This goal had an instant impact on Ponte Preta and they started to find their stride, with Mateus become an immediate threat, having had a quiet game prior to the goal.  The game had really opened up as both sides pushed for the win, although there were sill some heavy tackles flying in, and the officials did a great job in keeping a lid as matters threatened to get out of hand.

The game’s defining moment came with only seconds left on the clock as a needless handball in the Ponte Preta defence gave Mechelen a free kick just outside the box.  There were a number of blue jerseys around the ball but Zeroual struck it.  The Mechelen striker did not catch the ball clean, but Guilherme misjudged the flight of the ball and it found it’s way into the net, as the Mechelen bench emptied onto the pitch in celebration.

by Ray Baxter