Second-place Union Saint-Gilloise beat first-place Genk 1-2 on Sunday in the big clash of the 29th day of the Belgian football league, the Jupiler Pro League. Union are now only five points behind Genk with only five games remaining before the playoffs.
Three days after their draw at Union Berlin in the Europa League round of 16 first leg, second-placed Union travelled to league leaders Genk, who were eight points clear at kick-off.
Union, welcoming back captain Teddy Teuma, created the first big chance through Yorbe Vertessen, who forced a save from Maarten Vandevoordt after six minutes.
In the first half-hour, Genk started well and were awarded a penalty for a handball by Union defender van Der Heyden in the box. The penalty was converted by Bryan Heynen in the 24th, who put the Limburg side in front 1-0.
A Genk victory would have put the league leaders 8 points clear of Union – and in a commanding position for the playoffs in May. Indeed, Genk came close to doubling their lead when Daniel Munoz’s goal was disallowed for offside by VAR.
A few minutes later in the 42nd minute, Union equalised through Bart Nieuwkoop who headed past Vandevoordt.
The Brussels side did not stop there, and within minutes struck a second time to take the lead thanks to a wonder goal by Simon Adingra. The Union player masterfully made it 1-2 with a curled shot that went into the top corner in the 44th minute.
During the second half, the game slowed down, but Genk were able to find the net in the 73rd minute. Munoz sent the ball into the net, but his header was deflected off the arm of Genk’s Mark McKenzie.
As a result, a the goal was disallowed by VAR for the second time in the match, and the score remained 1-2 to Union.
The result marks an important victory for Union in the title race for the Jupiler Pro League.
- Union Saint-Gilloise draw 3-3 in Berlin after leading three times
- Union Saint-Gilloise return to winning ways against Eupen to stay in second place
- Heartbreak for Union Saint-Gilloise as Antwerp progress to Belgian cup final on penalties
With 62 points, Union are now five points behind Genk (67 points), with five games to play before the top four teams enter the playoffs for a chance at winning the title.
Union manager Karel Geraerts’ troops are two points ahead of third-placed Antwerp, who won 0-2 at Seraing on Saturday.