The game started excitingly, with decent attacking play from Courtrai, who played a quite unrecognisable Standard. Fifteen minutes in, the first goal fell: Courtrai defender Tomasevic had infiltrated the penalty box, and headed in a cross. A bit later Santini missed the opportunity for the 2-0 lead when he missed a penalty.
Standard hadn’t shown much of last week’s class, but shortly before the break, a flash of said class did sparkle, courtesy of Ajdarevic, who scored the equalizer with a spectacular volley.
With half-time over, Standard slowly got back into their A-game, bringing on Van Damme and Mujangi Bia for the two youngsters Yasar and Milosevic. Bia shifted the game straight-away with a sharp pass, setting up Mbombo’s first goal of the season.
New Courtrai manager Vanderhaeghe needed to react, and brought in Mulemo. His decision paid off immediately when he provided the assist for De Mets, who stayed calm in front of goal. 2-2.
With twenty minutes left, Courtrai pushed Standard back, making chances rain, but never able to convert them into a much-deserved lead, due to some astounding saves by Kawashima. The ninety minutes were over, and a first loss of points seemed inevitable for Standard, until newcomer Tony Watt – the former Celtic striker – was taken down in the penalty area. The ball went on the spot, and Mujangi Bia scored his third goal of the season.
The whistle blew, Standard won 3-2, keeping the maximum points, while Courtrai, even though they played well and attacking football, is left with nill to show for. Now Standard heads onto their second leg of the Champions League qualifiers against Panathinaikos.