A moment of class from Christian Brüls put the home team ahead after fifteen minutes and Cercle did not create much in the first half, although Iké Ugbo did have a big chance to deliver an equalizer. Things were better from Cercle in the second half, but it was again the home team that found the net, making it 2-0 through Teixeira against the run of play. Cercle were then forced to take even more risks, but despite a lot of effort and some good chances, were not even able to record a consolation goal. In injury time, Durkin was very lucky in making it 3-0. Because of this victory, Sint-Truiden move further away from the relegation zone, while Cercle remain in next-to-last place.
An efficient STVV hand Cercle a difficult result
Paul Clement changed his starting eleven in two places for this key game, coming on the heels of the derby. Jean Harisson Marcelin returned from suspension and took the place of Jérémy Taravel in defence, while Hannes Van Der Bruggen started in midfield, a change which saw Dino Hotic move to the bench.
On an artificial turf pitch, Cercle kept the ball from the home team in the opening phases of play, but were doing too little with the ball. The home team were playing on the counter and on their first attack, immediately yielded results. Suzuki played a long ball for Christian Brüls to latch onto. Brüls turned Vanhoutte and then left Didillon without a chance with a rocket into the top corner.
It was a mental blow to Cercle, who took some time to recover. Their timid reaction came after an move by Musaba, but his pass found no one. A chance for and equalizer came suddenly with the ball at Ugbo's feet, but Iké tapped over from very close range. Cercle, however, could not rely on building from that giant opportunity, on the contrary, it was the home team that would now take firm control of the game. On the half hour, Didillon had to intervene twice in a short span of time, but he had the appropriate answer on both a free kick from Brüls and a shot from Lavalée. The home team was showing itself to be more clever in the duels and finished the first half in control.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Cercle immediately escaped going behind 2-0. Suzuki shot wildly after a strong attack that developed from Brüls and Mboyo. Cercle then took firm control of the game and earned themselves a few opportunities in the opening minutes of the second half. Kevin Hoggas immediately took had an effort from corner, but the ball flashed a few meters wide. A few minutes later, Hoggas hit the ball better, but his shot went just past the top corner. The next chance fell to Vitinho, who fought his way past Janssens but then could not get past the Sint-Truidense defense from a too sharp angle. The biggest chance of this period was for Musaba, but he could not find the breakthrough goal, either.
Cercle were now clearly the better team, but it was the hosts that scored the match's second goal in the 64th minute. Mboyo took a free kick, from which Cercle were completely surprised by a set piece, with Teixeira taking advantage of the space afforded him to head home from close range.
Clement made some changes, throwing caution to the wind (Hotic and Somers for Pavlovic and Vanhoutte), but this, too, seemed to do Cercle's play little good. Hotic had a first shot 10 minutes from time, but Schmidt easily pushed the it over his goal. Marcelin was too flat-footed to head in a deflected free kick and Ugbo also shot wide -- it was already clear that this would not be Cercle's night. Deep in injury time, the home team once again proved clinical: a shot by Durkin found its way into goal, deflecting off Vitinho's leg. It was, overall, a harsh scoreline for Cercle, who were punished for their lack of finishing in front of goal.
Sint-Truiden: Schmidt – Caufriez (46’ Janssens), Buatu, Teixeira, Lavalée, Cacace (83’ Matsubara) – Durkin, De Ridder (89’ Konaté), Brüls - Mboyo, Suzuki (70’ Colidio)
Cercle: Didillon – Biancone, Marcelin, Bates, Pavlovic (65’ Hotic), Vitinho – Van Der Bruggen (83’ Lopes Da Silva) , Vanhoutte (69’ Somers), Hoggas – Musaba, Ugbo