A scorcher from Radja Nainggolan just before the hour decided the derby in Antwerp's favour. That amazing goal - a perfect fit in the top corner - proved to be the match winner. A hard and injust verdict for Beerschot who created the better chances but again failed to put the ball in the net. Rapha Holzhauser got the better scoring opportunities in each half but was denied by goalkeeper Butez, missed the target and hit the post. 

The atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium was electric for this prestigious encounter. A derby with all ingredients in it: high intensity, flying tackles, nervousness, grit... and in the end disappointment, agony  and frustration for Beerschot. Antwerp threatened in the opening minutes with a header from Engels and a shot from Frey but it was Caicedo who came closest to the opening goal at the other end with a dangerous drive that was ultimately deviated over the top of the Antwerp goal.

Beerschot started well after the break with Holzhauser's shot missing the target by inches but on the hour Antwerp put the pressure on. And scored. Radja Nainggolan hit out from the edge of the box. An unstoppable shot in the top corner of Mike Vanhamel's goal. Beerschot pushed everyone forward for that all important - and deserved - equaliser. The 1-1 looked in the making when Holzhauser was sent through the Antwerp defense. His shot beat Butez but the ball hit the post. Hard luck. In injury time Beerschot claimed a penalty when Shankland went down in the box. However VAR waved away our protests. 0-1 was the final score.   



GOAL: 59' Nainggolan 0-1

BEERSCHOT: Vanhamel, Halaimia (72' Suzuki), Radic, Bourdin (53' Lemos), Van den Bergh, Dom, Pietermaat, Caicedo (64' Soumaré), Vaca, Holzhauser, Shankland

ANTWERP: Butez, De Laet, Engels, Seck, Vines, Yusuf, Verstraete, Nainggolan (65' Haroun), Fischer, Samatta (65' Benson), Frey

YELLOW CARDS: Bourdin, Samatta, Dom, Holzhauser, Van den Bergh, Pietermaat


By Danny Geerts

Photo: Jan Mees

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