McKenzie, Genk suffer UEFA Champions League qualifying exit
Mark McKenzie and Genk’s hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage came to a painful ending on Wednesday evening.
The Belgian Pro League side suffered elimination from qualifying after falling to Swiss side Servette 4-1 in a penalty shootout. Genk and Servette played out a 2-2 second leg draw in Belgium, which leveled them 3-3 on aggregate after 120 minutes of play.
Servette received an early blow in the match with Enzo Crivelli being sent off after only three minutes. Genk would take advantage of the extra man as Mike Tresor scored from the penalty spot in the 28th minute to make it 1-0 on the night.
Timothe Cognat leveled for Servette in the 36th minute, keeping the sides level heading into halftime.
Genk would recapture the lead in the 51st minute through Toluwalase Arokodare’s go-ahead goal, but Servette fought back and equalized a second time, this time through Chris Bedia just after the hour mark.
After no winner could be decided in a 30-minute extra time period, the sides went to a shootout. However, it would be one that Genk and its fans would like to forget immediately.
Patrik Hrosovsky and Arokodare both missed their spot kick chances, while Servette went a perfect 4-from-4 from the spot.
McKenzie delivered a strong performance despite the defeat, logging 120 minutes, completing 95% of his passes (105/110), winning six of 10 duels, and making four interceptions. The U.S. men’s national team defender has made three starts for Genk in all competitions so far.
Genk’s European hopes aren’t over though as they will now face Greek side Olympiakos in Europa League qualifying. The Belgian side will travel to Greece for the first leg on August 10 before returning home for the second leg on Aug. 17.