KV Ostende 0-0 OM: Road to play-offs

03 Aug 2017
Thierry Agnello
Photos © 
Hélios Image 2017
Keeping its first match advantage (4-2), a solid OM side stayed in control (0-0). The Belgians were even saved twice by their own post in the first half.

Lucas Ocampos (in place of Thauvin) and Tomas Hubocan (Evra) were the only changes that Rudi Garcia made to the line up for the second leg against KVO. Committed and focussed. The Olympians showed they were up to the challenge in the first few seconds, especially since, leading 4-2, it was more the Belgians that were at risk.

The yellow card given to Luiz Gustavo in the 3rd minute demonstrated the Brazilian's commitment to this European match. Lucas Ocampos's first strike on Thursday evening was very purposeful shooting just over the Ostend goal (9 th ). It was again the Argentinian who shined a few minutes later. He closed in perfectly on the right and positioned himself for a pass from the psychic centre, Germain but his attempt was blocked by the Belgian post (14th).

KVO defended quite well but remained reactive. Franck Berrier often posed a danger from the sides and corners as this three-man attack ended up in Mandanda's arms (23 rd ). OM responded first with Payet, who, from a corner, found Rolando whose header hit the goal (25 th ) followed by Germain, who shot into the middle of the Belgian defense sending Silvio Proto into the air to the joy of fans (31 st ). Proto was again saved by the left post ... when Lopez perfectly evading Payet, decided to open the score (38 th ). Rudi Garcia's team confirmed their domination in both play and control through a number of successive actions that were well balanced during this first half when they should have been leading the score.

The start of the second half was disturbed by the huge enthusiasm of this Ostend team being forced to take risks. The true danger known as El Ghanasy came on after half-time. The KVO striker concentrated on Hubocan but clashed with Steve Mandanda's clear-headed play (59 th ). This attempt followed a header from Milic deflected by the Marseille goalkeeper's boot (53 rd ). Before things got really tricky Rudi Garcia brought on Sertic (replacing Lopez, 60 th ).  This gave support to the Brazilian Luiz Gustavo who was keeping all his focus in midfield.

OM let the Belgian storm pass and retook control of the match.

The Cameroonian, Clinton Njie who showed promise during training, replaced Valère Germain (73 rd ).  But Marseille's chances were becoming fewer and far between, as the Belgians were applying pressure in the Olympian camp. However due to their lack of technical accuracy and realism, OM was not really that worried. Doria came on to replace Payet for a few minutes to show a little more commitment and presence (88th). The Olympians, who were in full control, manage this trip to the Flatlands (0-0) and qualified for the two play-off matches (17 and 24 August). 

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