Today: Beerschot v OH Leuven, Belgian FA Cup, season 2007-2008
VINNIE VERHOEVEN SCORES FROM THE SPOT
It was not difficult to find a game between Beerschot and OHL that jumped out of our impressive history book. Fourteen years ago during a Cup game in the Olympic Stadium all highlights were bundled in the period of extra time… and the penalty epilogue. And on top of that, it was a genuine Beerschot player from our Youth Academy who decided the tie and qualified Beerschot for the quarter final. His name: Vincenzo Verhoeven. Our ‘Vinnie’.
At that time OHL was a second division club on the rise. They played good football in a convincing first half and created quite a few goal scoring opportunities. Beerschot goalkeeper Kenny Steppe produced three excellent saves and kept his team in the game. The best and most dangerous player on the pitch that night was Leuven-striker Bjorn Ruytinx, who also played a part in Beerschot’s rush to the top during 2015 and 2017. It was Ruytinx who scored the opening goal early in the first half of extra time. And when Kevin Janssens added a second for OHL ten minutes later, the game seemed all over.
Not at all… Leuven’s second goal instigated a totally unexpected turnaround. Beerschot suddenly found their best form, while OHL ran out of steam and needed fouls and dangerous tackles, that resulted in seven yellow cards. In ten minutes time, and with goals from Ederson Tormena and Sanharib Malki (in the dying seconds!), Beerschot equalised… so the tie had to be decided with a penalty shoot out. The more than 6,500 crowd, who previously had criticised the poor performance of their players, now got back behind the team and created a great atmosphere. Was this a miracle in the making?
Oh yes it was. OHL were dejected after Beerschot’s late comeback. Only Janssens scored from the spot, while for Beerschot both Martijn Monteyne and Hernan Losada sent the Leuven goalkeeper the wrong way. In the end it was Vincenzo Verhoeven who banged in the all important penalty. The crowd erupted. What a fairytale ending, as ‘Vinnie’ was – and still is – a true Beerschot Boy, who had made his way up from the Youth Academy at “De Wilrijkse Pleinen”. His love for Beerschot made him the fans’ favourite. His popularity was immense and immortal. Vinniiiieeee!
SATURDAY 12th JANUARI 2008 – OLYMPIC STADIUM
BELGIAN FA CUP – 1/8ste FINALE
GERMINAL BEERSCHOT – OUD-HEVERLEE LEUVEN 2 – 2 after extra time (penalties 3-1)
GOALS: 96’ Ruytinx 0-1, 107’ K. Janssens 0-2, 110’ Ederson 1-2, 120’ Malki 2-2
BEERSCHOT: Steppe, M. Monteyne, Van Dooren, Lembi (77’ De Wree), P. Monteyne, Wamfor, Ederson, Colman (68’ King), Losada, Malki, Dosunmu (85’ Verhoeven)
OHL: Boyen, Nwadikwa, Greven, Vastmans, Odoi, Omonga, Matton, Baghdad, Brogno (74’ Schouterden), Schoonjans (106’ K. Janssens), Ruytinx (119’ Francis)
YELLOW CARDS: Wamfor, Vastmans, Odoi, Baghdad, Greven, Ruytinx, Schouterden, Francis
Beerschot had a good cup run that season, beating Union at the 1/16 final stage. After eliminating OHL the team of coach Harm van Veldhoven knocked out Roeselare in the quarter final (5-1 at home, 1-1 away). But Anderlecht proved too strong in the Semis, with the help of the referee. Beerschot lost 1-0 in Brussels and drew 1-1 at home. An undeserved FA Cup exit!
In the regular season Beerschot finished 5th with 55 points from 34 league games; Sanharib Malki being the club topscorer with 16 goals, two less than Joseph Akpala from Charleroi.
Kenny Steppe was voted “Goalkeeper of the Year” at the “Golden Boot” ceremony, which set him on his way to a transfer to Dutch team Heerenveen.
By Danny Geerts