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A good effort by Cercle nets a scoreless draw against Anderlecht

After a good collective performance, Cercle took a point against Anderlecht. Although perhaps  to say they were stuck on a point is more appropriate: after all, the Groen-Zwart was the more dangerous team and hardly gave any chances away. Moreover, the hosts came close to scoring both before and after the interval. Halfway through the second half, as well, Ugbo was flagged just offside when he poked the ball home. With the point earned this evening, Cercle edges a point closer to Mouscron for the time being, a week before an important trip to face Le Cannonier.

The Groen-Zwart started the game in fine fettle and immediately created a big chance through their collective play. Hoggas took the ball from Deman in midfield, passed his man and then came close to opening the scoring. Due to Cercle's good pressure, it took a while for the visitors to get into their normal rhythm of combination play. However, organization was well established for Cercle, which meant that the Purple & White were able to get little or nothing playing on the break. Cercle did offer some good combination play themselves, but only a cautious chance from Hoggas, which did not yield much either. Halfway through the match, the score was a more than logical 0-0.

Even after the break, the first chance came from Hoggas but the midfielder's shot took a deflection and went wide. Cercle took the initiative and came close to the opening goal via a good run from Pavlovic, and some good passing from Vitinho. When Ugbo was finally able slot home halfway through the second half, Cercle's efforts finally seemed to be paying off. However, the striker was offside by a narrow margin, a fact which had not escaped VAR. The Groen-Zwart almost immediately were pegged back, but Trebel's free kick crashed off the crossbar. Both managers tried to take the lead by making a few offensive changes, but none that would bring any great opportunities to pass. The match ended a scoreless draw, one in which Cercle perhaps received too little credit for their hard work. That said, Cercle can take with it from the result the necessary positive elements from the match heading into an important pair of matches in the relegation battle.

Cercle: Didillon, Biancone, Marcelin, Bates, Pavlovic, Vitinho, Da Silva Lopes, Hoggas, Deman (78 'Musaba), Ugbo (83' Somers) and Hotic (87 'Denkey).

Anderlecht: Wellenreuther, Murillo, Delcroix, Miazga, Lawrence, El Hadj (60 'Trebel), Sambi Lokonga, Cullen, Amuzu (72' Dauda), Nmecha (72 'Diaby) and Bruun Larsen ('46 Mukairu).

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