KAS Eupen maintained their promising pre-season form with an impressive 3-2 win over Greek giants Olympiakos on Sunday.
David Pollet scored his first goals for the Pandas as they came back from behind to defeat the 44-time Greek champions, who will take part in this year’s UEFA Europa League.
The former Belgium under-21 international was among six new signings in Claude Makelele’s starting eleven, alongside Julian Schauerte, Cheick Keita, Ivan Yagan, Xavi Molina and former captain Danijel Milićević.
The Aspire-Zone-Owned club are undefeated since kicking off their preparations for the new season in late June, with wins over Sprimont and Alemannia Aachen and a draw with Koln II. They will kick off their League campaign on July 29th away against defending champions Club Brugge.
The match kicked off at 14:00 local time to avoid a conflict with the FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia, and despite the soaring temperature, around 400 fans were present at Kehrweg Stadion to support the home side.
Goalkeeper Hendrik Van Crombrugge made a number of fine saves to deny the visitors the opening goal as the first half ended goalless. He was replaced by Babacar Niasse at half-time, and the 21-year-old Senegalese goalkeeper had to pick the ball from his net after less than three minutes as Miguel Angel Guerrero found the target with a right-footed low drive from just inside the box.
Pollet, who joined Eupen on loan from Charleroi this summer, equalized in the 62nd minute after making a surging run on the left flank before sending a powerful strike past goalkeeper Andreas Gianniotis.
Keita sent a cross from the left side in the 77th minute and Jean Thierry Lazare was the first to react sending the ball over the substitute goalkeeper Dimitrios Skafidas to give the home side the lead.
Six minutes later Eupen were awarded a penalty after the Referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and Pollet made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-1.
Serbian striker Uros Djordevic scored a consolation goal for the Greek side in injury time, also from a penalty, after Siebe Blondelle blocked a shot with his hand.
Luis Garcia came close to scoring a fourth in injury time with a beautifully curled free kick that hit the post.
The result will surely boost the confidence of Makelele’s men ahead of their third straight top-flight season, as they will be hoping to avoid another survival battle. Last season, the Pandas avoided relegation in the final minutes of the closing matchday, when they defeated Mouscron 4-2, to claim a (+1) goal difference advantage over bottom of the table Mechelen.
Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Babacar Niasse min.46); Cheick Keita (Silas Gnaka min.81), Julian Schauerte (Diawandou Diagne min.81), Xavi Molina, Siebe Blondelle; Rémi Mulumba (Jean Thierry Lazare min.62), Luis Garcia, Danijel Milićević (Megan Laurent min.74), Eric Ocansey (Dolly Menga min.62); Ivan Yagan (Yuta Toyokawa min53), David Pollet
Andreas Gianniotis (75′ Dimitrios Skafidas), Omar Elabdellaoui (62′ Giannis Masouras), Pape Abou Cissé (46′ Roderick Miranda), Jagoš Vuković (62′ Björn Engels), Konstantinos Tsimikas (62′ Dimitris Nikolaou), Andreas Bouchalakis (62′ Alaixys Romao), Thanasis Androutsos (62′ Mady Camara), Kostas Fortounis (62′ Marko Marin), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (62’ Giannis Fetfatzidis), Marios Vrousai (46′ Felipe Pardo), Miguel Ángel Guerrero (62’ Uros Djurdjevic)
0-1 Guerrero min.46
1-1 Pollet min.62
2-1 Lazare min.77
3-1 Pollet min.84 (P)
3-2 Djurdjevic min.90+1 (P)