June 23, 2021

Luqman Hakim makes Belgian First Division bow for Kortrijk against Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht

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The Malaysia teenager got his first ever run-out in the Belgian top flight after he was brought on as as substitute in the second half.

One out of two. 

As Malaysia anticipated two Malaysian professional footballers to get their European bow in the early hours of Saturday morning, only one of those wishes were fulfilled.

Safawi Rasid was not part of the Portimonense squad that lost 1-0 to Tondela as the spotlight fell on 18-year-old Luqman Hakim who got his very first minutes of Belgium top flight football.

Kortrijk were already trailing 3-0 at home to Anderlecht currently under the guidance of former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany when Yves Vanderhaeghe called upon the club’s number nine to get ready for duty.

Luqman was introduced with 15 minutes of normal time left to play and Vanderhaeghe asked the youngster to operate wide right.

The instructions for the Malaysian Under-23 international were to keep it simple as Luqman got into good positions and did not take more than a few touches before releasing the ball to a teammate.

He was part of the move that earned Kortrijk a spot kick which Ilombe Mboyo converted in the 87th minute and showed plenty of enthusiasm in his pressing.

There could yet be more opportunities for Luqman in the future with Vanderhaeghe seemingly rather impressed with what the youngster have shown in training and well and in friendly matches before

“Luqman is really making progress and also scored the winning goal with the reserves at Beerschot. He shows really beautiful things in training, especially in the finish. 

“He is very focused and has a lot of speed. When he can make his debut depends on who is fit. Maybe he can do that tonight. He’s not ready to play 90 minutes yet. 

“He is also small in stature, but if we need someone to counterattack , he can certainly take care of it,” said Vanderhaeghe before the match.

The defeat left Kortrijk in 8th spot and will travel to Zulte Waregem in the next match that will be played on November 3.