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A valiant Groen-Zwart fall in Oostende

On the 11th match day of the Jupiler Pro League, Cercle were second bottom before heading to the coast to take on Oostende. Groen-Zwart played a dogged match and took the lead through Somers. KVO were on the ropes, but 2 moments turned the result, as Gueye and Amade sealed the points at home for the Kustboys.

Yves Vanderhaeghe had made some striking changes to his team. Sousa was given his debut at the back. The Brazilian defender was finally free from injury and was given the start over Popovic. In attack, the duo of Millàn and Somers were tasked to score goals and in midfield Van der Bruggen replaced the injured Kanouté.

Cercle got off to a good start and played well against the tenth-placed side in the Jupiler Pro League. The high pressure from Groen-Zwart, under the impulse of the hard-working Somers, tested the Oostende defence. Real chances had to wait until the 20th minute, though, as Utkus was able to play out from the back, finding Vanhoutte who had the 0-1 at hand, but came up short against Fortes.

At the break, Blessin subbed out Rocha for Tanghe. The Ostend coach moved to a 4-4-2 for a 5-3-2 after the break. However, this tactical shift did not yield much. Cercle grew into the match more and more. Millàn was flagged offside just before the hour, but in the 67th minute, the Spaniard delivered a measured assist for Somers, who took on a pass from Van der Bruggen, and Hubert was beaten with a fine effort. The goal gave the Groen-Zwart even more courage and they tried to build on their lead but Somers and Millàn were unable to do as much. Vanderhaeghe brought on Deman and Decostere  with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

Cercle Brugge KSV

Trying to equalize, KVO earned a corner kick. After a header against the crossbar, the Groen-Zwart couldn't clear the ball completely. Didillon saved the rebound, but after a quick throw-in D'Arpino was able to find Gueye and the striker nodded home an equalizer.

A series of substitutions followed and both teams continued to press for a win, and it was KVO that found the goal in added time. A free kick was headed on in front of goal, again at the far post. The ball came to Amade, who finished from close range to lead the home team to a win. It was thus a bitter loss for Cercle who had generally been the better team, but without profiting from their play.

Cercle: Didillon, Utkus, Sousa, Daland, Corryn (Waldo 82'), Vitinho (Decostere 76'), Van der Bruggen, Da Silva Lopes, Vanhoutte (Hotic 63'), Millàn (Matondo 82') and Somers (Deman 76')

Ostend: Hubert, Ndicka (Patoulidis 86'), Fortes, Jäkel, Capon, Bätzner (Koziello 79'), Amade, D'Arpino, Rocha (Tanghe 46'), Gueye and Ambrose (Kvasina 79')

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Coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had made three changes, with Utkus, Decostere and Velkovski on after the loss against Charleroi. In attack, Deman was preferred to Millàn.

The Groen-Zwart started the game with good intentions. Utkus got on the end of a free kick by Van der Bruggen, but his header went just wide of the second post, so Coucke didn't have to make a save. On the quarter hour, Matondo was able to turn past Walsh and move upfield. His pass to Somers was good and he turned it low across goal from the left, looking Deman to turn the ball home. However, Van Hoorenbeeck just managed to get a foot in, and the attempt went out for a corner. Moments later, Cercle's strikers would set each other up again. Deman cut in from the right and found Somers who turned his man and shot, but his attempt also missed Coucke's goal by a hair's breadth.

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Hotic fired a free kick over and wide before being subbed off for Denkey. The Togolese striker almost made a difference immediately, with a long shot and then came close to a goal with two headers. Koffi made a nice save on the first header and saw the second flash centimeters wide, while in between, Gholizadeh hit the post on a rare counterattack.

Attempts by Rubio and Deman lacked conviction and it took (too) long for a goal to come. Daland nodded home in the 89th minute, but in stoppage time, Cercle's football was too chaotic to be able to get any more from their opponents. Cercle continues to look for a first home win of the season, and will soon have another chance, when KV Mechelen comes to visit next week.

Cercle: Didillon, Vitinho, Daland, Sousa, Miangue (Velkovski 46'), Van Der Bruggen (Utkus 73'), Lopes Da Silva, Hotic (Denkey 63'), Matondo (Waldo 73'), Millàn (Deman 46') and Somers

Charleroi: Koffi, Tchatchoua (Benchaib 75'), Andreou, Knezevic, Bessilé, Kayembe,
Ilaimaharaitra, Morioka, Gholizadeh (Gillet 87'), Zorgane (Zaroury 87'), Descotte (Nicholson 54')

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Cercle started the match with two changed, both enforced, compared to last week: the injured pair of Utkus and Corryn were replaced by Lopes Da Silva and Miangue. Cercle also had to do without Yves Vanderhaeghe, who was missing from the bench following a positive test for COVID-19. His assistants, Jimmy De Wulf and Miron Muslic, took over his duties on the touchline.

Cercle started the match with a lot of desire and pressed Genk from the off, closing the hosts down deep in their own half. It took fifteen minutes before this resulted in a first chance, but Vandevoordt was quick off his line to deny Millàn. The home team could only counter that with a shot from Paintsil, before Hannes Van Der Bruggen seemed to give Cercle the lead after 22 minutes. A cross from Vitinho reached Millàn, and his deflected shot fell right at the feet of our captain, who slipped the ball in. Howeever, after three minutes of consulting VAR, they came to the conclusion that Van Der Bruggen was offside by a few millimeters, a very tough decision.

The goal being denied seemed to wake up the home team, as their towering striker Onuachu headed the ball back to Thorstvedt, but Sousa would easily block an effort that lacked power. The biggest chance for the home team would follow moments later, though. Onuachu was again involved, setting up the speedy Paintsil, but Didillon emerged with the ball from the speedy winger.

Cercle quickly took over control of the match and deservedly took the lead after a quick switch of play. Millàn would prove stronger than Toma, as he then played in Hotic before Dino's low cross was tapped home by Thibo Somers. Cercle pushed on and would even force a few corner kicks before half time. Millàn headed one of these corners from close range after a deflection from Miangue, but Vandevoordt pushed the ball onto the post.

Millàn kept looking for a goal as a birthday present to himself and made himself known again in the opening minutes of the second half, as his header seemed heading in at the far post, but Toma was there in time to clear the ball off the line. Moments later, Matondo went down in the box following a challenge by Preciado, but this time VAR remained silent.

A shot by Ito caused some excitement in the home crowd, but Didillon watched the ball flash a meter wide of his goal. After that, the game's only chances seemed to be falling for Cercle for a long time. Vandevoordt did well to deal with a low cross from Lopes Da Silva, and Millàn was unlucky, slipping before he could reach the rebound. Perhaps the best chance to make it 0-2 would fall to Thibo Somers. Dino Hotic's pass was sublime, but Vandevoordt's save from Thibo's effort was just as good. The match now became stretched but Cercle were unable to find a second goal to seal the result.

It was only in the final part of the match that Didillon was tested, on a powerful effort from the substitute Bongonda. Yet the equalizer for the home team would come against the run of play as Bongonda headed in to make it 1-1 in the 89th minute. Cercle pressed for what would have been a deserved win, but it didn't get any further than an attempt by Olivier Deman.

Cercle eventually had to settle for a draw. It was scant reward for the effort they had showed, but Genk goalkeeper Vandevoordt and VAR kept Cercle from victory.

Racing Genk: Vandevoordt, Muñoz (Preciado 46'), Sadick, Lucumi, Arteaga, Toma (Trésor 58'), Thorstvedt (Oyen 88'), Heynen, Ito, Onuachu (Ugbo 46'), Paintsil (Bongonda 58').

Cercle Brugge: Didillon, Vitinho, Daland, Sousa, Miangue Van Der Bruggen, Lopes Da Silva, Hotic (Vanhoutte 88'), Matondo, Somers (Denkey 82') and Millàn (Deman 72')

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