A late lucky strike from substitute Sander Coopman gave Zulte Waregem a 1-0 win over Eupen in the first leg of the Belgian Cup semifinal.
It was the first ever appearance for the “Pandas” at this stage of the competition and they still have a chance to even make it a more memorable season when they host Zulte at Kehrwegstadion in the second leg on February 1st.
The hosts had the best chances in the first half and Babcar Niasse made a couple of great saves to deny Christophe Lepoint who also missed a big chance in the second half hitting the crossbar from close range.
Eupen’s best chance came in the final ten minutes of the game when they won a free-kick at the edge of the box, but substitute Jeffren Suarez blasted the ball wide and Zulte responded few minutes later with the only goal of the game.
Kingsley Madu’s effort from the edge of the area somehow found Coopman who first made a mess of it, before finding the net from a tight angle.
- The Pandas returned to Belgium on Sunday after a one week training camp at Aspire Zone in Doha, where they played friendly matches against Bayern Munich and Shanghai SIPG.
- 18-year-old Senegalese right back Moussa Wague made his first official start for the team.
- Fahad Al AbdulRahman played the full 90 minutes, was in good form and made a number of crucial interceptions.
- Next for Eupen is matchday 22 of Pro League, a home match against Genk on January 21st, and a win might take them 11 points clear off relegation zone.
Zulte Waregem (1)
1-0 Coopman 86
Competition: Belgian Cup (Croky Cup)
Stage: Semifinals – first leg
Date: January 18, 2017
Stadium: Regenboogstadion, Waregem
Attendance: 2915 spectators
Yellow Cards: Dalsgaard (Zulte) Garca, Lazare (Eupen)
Red cards: –
Referee: Nicolas Laforge
Lukas Lerager (Babacar Gueye 79’)
Onur Kaya (Brian Hamalainen 85’)
Alessandro Cordaro (Sander Coopman 78’)
Fahad Al Abdulrahman
Eric Ocansey (Jeffrén Suarez 77’)