Fellow Yellows – AFC Tubize

Belgian Cup, 4th Round
AFC Tubize v KRC Gent-Zeehaven
Saturday, 18th August 2013, 4pm
Stade Leburton
Entrance €15 (complimentary ticket), No Programme
Distance 263 miles, Attendance 200 (official estimate)
Following breakfast, checking out and, a leisurely stroll through Brussel-Zuid’s Sunday market; I boarded yet another train, this time for the nearby world of the Walloons.
Located a mere 15 minutes south-west of Brussels, Tubize is small French-speaking settlement. Once famous for building railway locomotives, now Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is one of their most celebrated exports.
Founded in 1989, following the merger of Amis Réunis de Tubize and FC Tubize, AFC Tubize progressed rapidly. Rising through the divisions under the guidance of some good coaches – including Enzo Scifo – in 2008, Tubize played their way into the Division 1, Jupiler League. This promotion brought the club huge stadium improvements and professional status however, their stay was cut tragically short.


Following a total league restructure – including some mind boggling play-off contests – Tubize were condemned to Division 2. Chatting to one volunteer, he told how the prospects of going up were now much harder. With only one automatic promotion place, Division 2 now contains eighteen teams, and the second place team must compete in a promotion play-off against the team finishing 15th in Division 1. Thankfully the journey to Stade Leburton was much easier to follow and arriving early, my camera and I explored the ground.

130818 BC4R AFC Tubize v Gent Zeehaven (42)w

Having explained my motives I was warmly welcomed, offered a complimentary ticket and – amid Elton John references – informed how to find the lift to the gantry atop the stand. Underneath the bar was filling with locals, amiably greeting one another, before queuing to chat with the ever popular beer ticket lady.
130818 BC4R AFC Tubize v Gent Zeehaven (104)wLeague crowds here usually reach 1200 but today’s Cup match was evidently not as popular so, supporters happily mixed together in the main stand. The warm-up had given nothing away however, once 3rd Division Gent-Zeehaven kicked-off, it was fairly clear this would be a very one-sided affair.
130818 BC4R AFC Tubize v Gent Zeehaven (111)w“ALLEZ TUBIZE!!!” came a cry from behind me as the first goal went in. In truth it could have been the third but, after Lonsana Doumbouya fired home at the far post, the players still celebrated the fine move enthusiastically. For the most part Les Sang et Or – the blood and gold – played as comfortably as if on a training ground however once a in a while, casual passes were snapped up by the away side, forcing Miguel Santos-Pravos into a fine display of agility throughout the afternoon.
By the time Gent-Zeehaven scored, deep in the second half – a cheekily chipped Antonio Munoz Merrera penalty – the game was already over. Impressive Tubize captain Philippe Liard’s long range effort had made it 2-0 in the first period before, all action Hervé Onana hit the bar from a yard out and then, saw his side had been reduced to ten men (an incident I’d missed due to riding said gantry lift to get aerial photos).
After the break Leandro Bailly shot low to make it 3-0 and, restoring the three goal advantage, Tubize scored what was the goal of the game. Twisting through numerous challenges, Gary Ambroise brought two miraculous saves from Kersten Lauwerys before Onana checked – sending the keeper to ground – then curled his shot in at the far post.

130818 BC4R AFC Tubize v Gent Zeehaven (107)w

Though plaudits went elsewhere, Liard and two unsung heroes of the day – calm-headed duo Sofian Kheyari and Jonathan Heris – maturely led their side, to a thoroughly deserved 4-1 victory which cheered the many fans that had been so cordial to me.
A linguistically confusing nation, I have much to be taught about Belgium but, what we differ in musically, we certainly make up for in football. Just a short trip from Brussels I’d sat amongst welcoming – if politely amused – supporters, seen five good goals, drank some fine beer and eaten the best frites I have tasted to date. Between this and fighting through tourist hordes at the Manneken Pis, I know where I’d rather spend my Sunday afternoon.

130818 BC4R AFC Tubize v Gent Zeehaven (137)

shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.


This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Belgian Cup, Fellow Yellows and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Fellow Yellows – AFC Tubize

  1. Julie Davis says:

    Sorry i missed you…come again!!

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