The Belgium Jupiler League kicked off on Day 1 as RC Genk came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of a stubborn Kortrijk side.
Abdul Ajagun and Imoh Ezekiel did their best but it was not enough to prevent visiting Kortrijk from suffering their first loss of the season to Genk who had Stephen Odey on the bench for the entire duration of the match.
Full time in Genk …Genk 2 VS 1 Kortrijk.. First away loss for Abdul Ajagun and Imoh Ezekiel in the new season #KuliFootball
— kuli kuli football (@FootballKuli) July 26, 2019
Former Nigeria U-20 attacking midfielder, Ajagun started for the visitors as Kortrijk enjoyed a brilliant start, netting the game’s opener through Julien De Sart within the first quarter of an hour.
But the champions quickly wrestled the initiative from Kortrijk and pressed the away side back into their own half of the field.
Yves Vanderhaegbe’s men went into the break with the lead but Racing Genk were clearly the better side and it appeared a matter of when and not if the equalizer would arrive.
It came just five minutes after the restart with new signing Benjamin Nygren putting the finishing touch to a sweet attacking move. Debut goals are always a beautiful thing.
Kortrijk were stunned and sought to recover. First, Abdul Ajagun was withdrawn for Elohim Rolland in the 67th minute. A few minutes later Vanderhaegbe sent in Imoh Ezekiel to replace Ilombe Mboyo.
But it was the changes made by Genk’s coach, Felice Mazzu that would determine the outcome of the game.
Goalscorer Benjamin Nygren made way for Ianis Hagi with 15 minutes of regulation time left on the clock.
And within two minutes of being on the field, Ianis, son of Romania great Gheorghie Hagi, grabbed the winner with his first touch. He was also making his debut for the Belgian champions.
Stephen Odey will look to make his own debut when Genk line up next match. The Nigerian youngster was signed from FC Zurich last month after scoring 16 goals in all competitions for the Swiss team during his two-year stay.