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‘Happiness wasn’t on our side’ – Club Brugge’s Mata laments defeat to Royal Antwerp

The Angola international was saddened by his team’s performance as they crumbled at home to Franky Vercauteren’s Great Old

Clinton Mata claimed that ‘happiness wasn’t on the side’ of Club Brugge following Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Royal Antwerp.

The Blue-Black came into the encounter following their 4-0 obliteration of Gent their last time out, however, they were outshone by the visiting Great Old at the Jan Breydel Stadium.

Cameroon international Didier Ze found the net first after nine minutes before Lior Refaelov sealed the win from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute as the hosts’ 12-match unbeaten run was cut short.

In his assessment of the game, the Angola international blamed his team’s defeat on the ‘physical’ nature of the encounter, while disclosing that he suffered hard against Frank Vercauteren’s side.

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“It was a very physical match and that includes a few taps,” the 28-year-old told the club website. “Today, we didn’t see the Club you usually see. In the second half we tried to look different. We came across a good block from Antwerp. Happiness wasn’t on our side today.

“I’m in a bit of pain everywhere. In the first half I got a tap on my left foot and in the second half it was my right.

“I thought it was broken. I couldn’t think of anything more than that my season was over. I asked the doctor if it was, but he reassured me.

“I fell badly on the carpet there. It wasn’t a game for me today, it happens sometimes. It is then important to keep your head up and keep going.”

This sentiment was echoed by manager Philippe Clement who stated that the goals conceded were ‘completely avoidable’.

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“We’re very disappointed,” said Clement. “You know what kind of match you will get against Antwerp, but we shoot twice in our own foot. It was also two goals that were completely avoidable.

“You know they come here to put a firm block with a lot of power and duels. Still, we got into a lot of promising situations, but we lacked sharpness in the 16 meters.

“It wasn’t all just like that. Then you lose points that weren’t necessary to lose. If you look at the quality of the game, we were certainly not the lesser, but it was the merit of Antwerp to pick up every crumb we dropped immediately.

“Moreover, each scenario is different. You also have to respect who’s facing you. It is a team with a lot of quality that has bought in to go for the title. As a result, they also have many switching options.”

Even at this defeat, Club Brugge occupy the summit of the Belgian top flight with 70 points from 31 outings.

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