KVC Westerlo absolutely demolished KV Oostende in their last match before the World Cup break. Westerlo lined-up in their classic 4-4-2 formation against Oostende’s 3-4-3. The match started quite even but after thirty minutes the hosts were already 2-0 up. Just before half-time Nacer Chadli put in the third from the penalty spot. After halftime, Westerlo really started going and it was Lyle Foster who extended their lead to five. The hosts took their foot off the gas a little bit and scored one more goal, making it 6-0.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: South-African
- Age: 22
- Date of Birth: 03/08/2002
- Current Club: KVC Westerlo
- Career: Orlando Pirates, AS Monaco, Cercle Brugge (Loan), Vitória Guimarães, Westerlo
- Position: Striker
- Preferred Foot: Right
Lyle Foster played as the deepest striker in KVC Westerlo’s 4-4-2, with Nene Dorgeles roaming around him in more of a shadow striker type of role. The South-African striker confirmed his great form this season with two quite similar goals. In the 49th Foster got the ball from left back Maxim De Cuyper and dropped it back to Nene Dorgeles, a pattern we saw a lot throughout this match mostly used in Westerlo’s build-up. Nene played it back to Foster who finished with his left foot in the far right corner. A few minutes later Foster received a cross from right back Reynolds and again he finished with his weaker left foot in the bottom right corner.
KV Oostende simply didn’t have an answer to all the moving pieces in Westerlo’s side, who played some beautiful football at times. As I mentioned earlier the defenders of Westerlo often looked for Foster in their build-up, who then would play a one-touch pass to whoever was close to him. A lot of the times Westerlo would then switch the play to the other side, where they would have two or three moving players.
Standing at 1.85m Foster physically dominated his opponents in this match. He was easily able to shield off the ball, allowing the four midfielders to move up and support him. However, he was also able to beat his opponents on pace, making a couple of good deep runs. He doesn’t quite have the electrifying pace as his teammate Nene, who I will cover later in this piece, but when he gets going his top speed is really high. I couldn’t really judge him in aerial duels, but he showed that he is great at controlling long passes with either his feet or chest.
On the ball, Foster looked really strong as well. He had quite some freedom to roam and often opted to move out towards the left, with Chadli and De Cuyper sitting a bit more centrally. His SofaScore heatmap confirms this.
I wouldn’t quite say he is completely two-footed, even though his finishes with his left foot looked really comfortable, but being strong with his left foot as well makes him unpredictable on the ball for defenders. He doesn’t have great dribbling in tight spaces but used his body very well to fend off defenders.
Rating – A2
With eight goals and three assists in sixteen matches, Foster now averages a goal contribution every 122 minutes. He really stepped up his game compared to last season in the Challenger Pro League and can definitely make a step up next season or the one after.
- Nationality: Malian
- Age: 19
- Date of Birth: 23/12/2002
- Current Club: KVC Westerlo (On loan from RB Salzburg)
- Career: Guidars FC, RB Salzburg, FC Liefering (Loan), SV Ried (Loan)
- Position: Striker
- Secondary Position: Right Wing, Left Wing, Attacking Midfielder
- Preferred Foot: Right
Nene Dorgeles got his place in the starting XI back after sitting two matches out because of a red card. Nene played as the second striker around Lyle Foster in Westerlo’s 4-4-2. The 19-year-old scored the opening goal and gave an assist before being subbed off in the 73rd minute. Nene’s goal was a pretty lucky one. After Maxim De Cuyper blocked a pass around the halfway-line the ball landed right between Oostende’s centre backs. Nene was the most alert player and ran right through them before slotting the ball in the bottom right corner. The Malian showed one of his main weapons here, which made him a constant danger, his pace. Especially on the first few meters, Nene looks absolutely rapid and he showed he was much faster than his opponents multiple times. It looked like Nene was going to keep this intensity up for the full 90 minutes, if it wasn’t for the substitute, as his stamina looked great and he was everywhere on the pitch.
Standing at 1.74m he isn’t the strongest player obviously, but his pace combined with his good agility and balance allows him to squeeze past his opponents without them being able to push him off the ball. He showed that he has very quick feet in 1v1s and is quite comfortable with his left foot, as he put in a decent cross with it.
His assist in the second half shows that he scans well and has good spatial awareness, quickly finding Lyle Foster in the box. However, his decision-making on the ball could’ve been a bit better. I feel like he could take slightly more time every now and then and not rush himself.
Technically it looked a little bit clumsy at times but he also showed some great first touches. He was very comfortable driving the ball forwards however, I don’t think he is a fantastic dribbler in smaller spaces as his touches looked a bit heavy at times.
Rating – A2
Nene Dorgeles is another gem brought to Europe by RB Salzburg. He needed to adapt for a bit when he joined Westerlo, but is really finding his form. It will be exciting to see him develop in the second half of the season.