Despite scoring the last-gasp equaliser at AFC Tubize that kept RSC Anderlecht level at the top of the Belgian Eerste Klasse, defender Marcin Wasilewski cannot help but feel his side “messed up” their chance to move clear of titleholders R. Standard de Liège.
Saturday’s goalless stalemate between Standard and SV Zulte Waregem had given the Brussels outfit the opportunity to advance their cause, but they found life tough against opponents fighting to stave off relegation – even staring at defeat when they conceded with seven minutes remaining. “On the one hand I’m very satisfied but on the other I must say we messed this game up,” Polish international Wasilewski told uefa.com after Sunday’s encounter. “I saved us on 95 minutes – it was already stoppage time, so we were definitely a bit lucky. What’s more, we were playing with ten men after Jan Polák was sent off [in the 71st minute]. But I do regret that we played like this because we had a very good chance to move ahead of Standard and we didn’t.”
With two matches left for each team, there is the prospect that both could finish on the same points tally. Should that happen, special provisions are in place for a two-game championship play-off. “I think that’s unfair,” commented Wasilewski, who joined the club from KKS Lech Poznań in January 2007. “Anderlecht have been better than Standard as far as the games between us are concerned and we have the better goal difference, so why play additional matches? If we have to, we’ll play, but I still believe we can win the league without the extra games.”
Capped 37 times by Poland, the 28-year-old has become an important member of the Anderlecht lineup, often weighing in with goals in addition to his defensive duties. “I’m really satisfied as I am playing well not only in defence, but in attack too,” he said. “I’ve scored seven goals this season, which is not bad for a defender.” Only three players have registered more for the team, in fact, with Tom De Sutter and Mbark Boussouffa on nine and Guillaume Gillet on eight. “I hope these goals will help us win the title as that’s crucial for the club,” he continued. “It opens the door to the Champions League and we’re desperate to step in – especially because we have so many fans.”
One of their highest-profile supporters is Justine Henin, and ‘Wasyl’ will draw inspiration from the celebrated tennis player’s backing as Les Mauves et Blancs attempt to clinch the league crown. “I like her as I’m a big tennis fan,” he said. “She even took part in one of our training sessions in March, but unfortunately I was at a Polish national team camp and did not meet her. But, anyway, it’s nice to know that such a big celebrity is crossing her fingers for us. I hope it will help.”
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