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African All Stars

Onuachu and Dessers lead Genk past Nmecha’s Anderlecht

22:08 BST 15/05/2021
Paul Onuachu - Genk
Goals from the Nigeria internationals powered the Blue-White past Vincent Kompany’s Purple and White in Saturday’s Belgian top-flight clash

Paul Onuachu and Cyriel Dessers were the goalscorers as Genk silenced Anderlecht 2-1 in Saturday’s Belgian First Division A match.

The Nigeria international scored in each half as the Blue-White brightened their chances of winning the Belgian elite division diadem.

Unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, the Blue-White travelled to Lotto Park to take on Vincent Kompany’s side, who are also in the race to claim the domestic title.

Knowing that anything short of victory would spell doom for their aspirations, John van den Brom’s men began the encounter on a bright note.

Their determination paid off early as they took the lead in the 16th minute courtesy of red-hot Onuachu.

The 26-year-old forward slotted the ball into the empty net after goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen had fumbled a shot from Theo Bogonda.

However, the lead lasted for just 15 minutes as Lukas Nmecha levelled matters for Vincent Kompany’s men.

Profiting from a defensive mishap by Genk’s defenders, Nmecha – who is eligible to represent Nigeria, England, and Germany at international level – rifled the ball past a helpless goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt after he was teed up by Yari Verschaeren.

Onuachu almost restored his team’s lead in the 40th minute, but his effort was blocked by on-loan Chelsea defender Matt Miazga.

In the second half, both teams stepped up their game as they chased the crucial goal. Anderlecht had few chances to have taken the lead, albeit, their profligacy in front of goal cost them heavily.

After an impressive shift, Onuachu - who now boasts 33 goals from 37 games - was substituted for compatriot Dessers with 14 minutes left to play.

In a twist of fate, it was Dessers who decided the game with his effort in the 86th minute thanks to an assist from Bogonda.

Despite a late rally from the hosts, they ended up on the losing side – a result that dented their hopes of winning the Belgian league for a record 36th time.

Unlike Onuachu and Dessers, who were in action for Genk, Cote d’Ivoire prospect Eboue Kouassi was an unused substitute.

Even at this result, Van den Brom’s men are second on the log behind Club Brugge, who take on Royal Antwerp on Sunday.