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Cercle Brugge KSV
Cercle Brugge KSV

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Cercle Brugge KSV
KVO and Cercle battle to a draw (1-1)

Cercle were able to play free of worry on the last matchday of the league season, as they headed to Ostend, where their opponent still needed a victory to claim a place in the European play-offs. Shortly after the break Ugbo opened the score for the Groen-Zwart, before Kvasina equalized for the hosts in added time.

Coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had to adjust his starting eleven considerably due to the absences of Hoggas and Velkovski (suspended). Didillon and Lopes Da silva were also missing with injuries and Taravel also was a late scratch having fallen ill. As a result, Charles Vanhoutte was captain to start the match and there were also starts handed to Corryn and Hotic.

The game started with a lively display from both sides. Ostend immediately tried to press Cercle, but the Groen-Zwart responded in kind. In minute 11, Thiam, marginally offside, was able to beat Cercle's defense, but an alert display from the goalkeeper Bruzzese kept the KVO striker from scoring the opening goal. Cercle came back into the match and then Deman was offered a good chance, but the striker decided to pass from a sharp angle, attempting to play in Hotic, who could not quite reach the ball, and things remained 0-0 in what was a very enjoyable match.

Alexander Blessin had to urge his Oostende side to win and to do so after the break he brought Sakkala on for Thiam. But it was Cercle this time that came out strongest and early in the second half there was a good chance for Decostere, but the winger's shot from close range was right at Hubert. The ball was not cleared immediately, though, and Ugbo was able to tap for his 16th goal of the season. However, the flag was raised, curtailing Cercle's celebrations, but after watching the images from VAR, the referee Boucaut gave the goal after all.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Ten-man Cercle win big against OHL to keep up the fight for survival

When Hoggas got a red card just after the half hour mark, Cercle seemed to have shot themselves in the foot in this vital match in their fight for survival. Still, despite being outnumbered, Cercle showed tremendous resilience and beat OHL comfortably, 3-0. With this result, Cercle took a big step towards staying in the top flight.

The Groen-Zwart showed its attacking ambitions from kick-off and that quickly resulted in some good chances. Romo was lucky after only two minutes that his clearance, rebounding off Ugbo, went wide and a few minutes later Cercle forced him into several saves. Cercel were definitely more eager, but had to watch out for the visitors on the counter. Halfway through the first half, Henry hit a curling shot that flashed just wide. On the half hour, Hoggas tried to pull out of a challenge on Assante, but the VAR had seen the tackle. The ref took the red card from his back pocket. It was a cruel outcome for the midfielder, and Cercle had to play an hour with ten men in a crucial match. However, the Groen-Zwart continued to get forward and were rewarded shortly before half-time. Ugbo took a pass from Deman and scored to make it 1-0.

OHL had shown little before half-time and came back of the dressing room with much more intent. A shot from the substitute Schrijvers ended up coming off the post. Still, it was the inevitable Ugbo that put Cercle in a dine position: a shot from Velkovski was only half-cleared and the Cercle striker reacted fastest to make it 2-0. Leuven increased the pressure and tried to pin back Cercle. However, the defense held up well and on a rare corner, the captain Taravel all but sealed the result as he climbed highest nodded home to make it 3-0 against the run of play. Cercle successfully defended its lead tooth and nail and when Henry came close to a consolation in the closing stages of the match, the goalkeeper Didillon was there to make a great save.

Cercle Bruges: Didillon, Decostere (88' Vitinho), Bates, Taravel (92' Cassaert), Pavlovic, Velkovski, Vanhoutte, Hoggas, Van Der Bruggen (88' Corryn), Deman (88' Hotic) and Ugbo (8' Denkey).

Oud-Heverlee Leuven: Romo (46' Thamsatchanan), Jemelka (67' Tshimanga), Ngawa, Hubert (79' Eppiah), De Norre, Vlietinck (67' Vlietinck), Tamari, Asante (46' Writers), Sowah, Mercier and Henry.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
A battling Cercle take three points against Beerschot

After a fiercely contested match, Cercle took three points at home against Beerschot. Cercle scored twice in the first half hour but made it difficult for themselves with a red card shortly after going ahead 2-0. With Beerschot scoring early in the second half, the Groen-Zwart had a tough task to hold on for the result. However, Vanderhaeghe's men stood their ground, giving Cercle a big victory in the battle for relegation.

When Velkovski deflected a corner by Beerschot against his own post, Cercle had an early shock and were lucky to keep things on level terms. However, the Groen-Zwart quickly took the initiative and their first sight of goal after a wonderful long ball from Lopes. Velkovski took it well, but saw his effort fail to hit the target. Just after the fifteen minute mark the break through came for the hosts as Bates headed a corner on to Biancone, who was in the right place to make it 1-0. Then, when Pavlovic was fouled in the box, the referee pointed to the spot. The team's top scorer, Ike Ugbo, calmly slotted home to allow Cercle to double the lead. A few minutes later, VAR asked the official to look at a foul by Velkovski, and the winger was shown a straight red card, which meant that Cercle would have to play with ten men for nearly an hour. The visitors, who had shown very little of yet, pressed forward immediately and were almost rewarded for it as Dom saw his header hit the post but the Groen-Zwart went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

The second half started, however with a goal quickly conceded by Cercle. A free kick from Holzhauser early in the second half was headed in by Van Den Bergh. The Groen-Zwart had a tough time playing a man down, but worked hard and showed good organization. They kept the visitors at bay and occasionally got forward on the counter, but neither Hoggas nor Biancone would really threaten Vanhamel. Despite dominating possession, Beerschot created very little in the way of chances. Holzhauzer had a few decent crosses into the area, but even they did not yield very much for the visitors. However, it was on set pieces that Beerschot remained dangerous as Van Den Bergh was close to getting on the end of a free kick from Holzhauser. The visitors got forward threateningly towards the end of the match, but the Mannekes did not get much beyond a shot from Suzuki, which bounced clear of Eleke, as Cercle held on for three vital points in the battle to avoid relegation.

Cercle Brugge: Didillon, Decostere, Biancone, Bates, Pavlovic, Velkovski, Vanhoutte, Da Silva Lopes (88' Hotic), Hoggas (75' Van der Bruggen), Deman (46' Corryn) and Ugbo (75' Ugbo).

Beerschot: Vanhamel, Dom, Radic, Frans (46' Sanyang), Van Den Bergh, Vorogovskiy (46' Bourdin), Sanusi, Pietermaat (80' Eleke), Holzhauser, Brogno (65' Bakkali) and Suzuki.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Cercle wint met 2-1 van Club NXT

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Cercle wins friendly match against Deinze 2-1

Thursday morning Cercle took advantage of the international break to play a friendly game against 1B team Deinze. Groen-Zwart won the game with 2-1: goals for Cercle came from Kévin Denkey and Figo Suffys. Dansoko scored for the visitors.

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