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Cercle and OHL share the spoils (1-1)

Playing on the second matchday of the league season, Cercle hosted OH Leuven. The home crowd did much to push the Groen-Zwart forward, but on the half hour Henry would open the scoring for OHL. After the break it was a substitute, the debutant Waldo Rubio who would net the equalizer, the match ending in a 1-1 draw.

After the win over Beerschot, coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had little reason to change his eleven. Popovic and Da Silva Lopes kept their places with Miangue and Van der Bruggen being injured. Velkovsky came back from suspension and was preferred to Vitinho on the left wing.

Groen-Zwart immediately moved forward, taking their impulse from an enthusiastic home crowd. Just before the 10 minute mark, Da Silva Lopes hit a hard long shot, with the ball sailing about two meters wide of Romo's goal.

The team from Leuven would come back into the match, though, and on the half hour Vanhoutte lost the ball, having been fouled, which led to a counterattack by OHL. Mercier picked out his target man Henry in attack and he punched the ball home at the near post.

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Cercle then moved forward again and Deman had two chances to equalize. On the first, he scuffed his shot, allowing Romo to reach it, and from the rebound he couldn't get the ball on target,

After the break, the Groen-Zwart knew what had to be done. They moved forward, but it was difficult to sustain constant pressure on the Leuven defense and Leuven also were able to break on a few occasions. Shortly after the hour mark, Vanderhaeghe brought on Vitinho and Rubio in place of Decostere and Deman.

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It took some time, but in the 72nd minute Vitinho was able to break forward on the right. The Brazilian turned De Norre and sent in a low ball. At the near post, Denkey was able to control the ball, but the ball was saved The rebound came centrally to Rubio who passed his defender and controlled the equalizer under Romo.

The visitors tried to pull themselves back into it at the last, but Cercle were not indifferent to the pressure and their organization at the back was successful. The tempo disappeared from the game due to many delays and there were to be no more goals in added time and the Groen-Zwart starte the competition with 4 points from 6.

Cercle: Didillon - Velkovski, Daland, Utkus, Popovic, Decostere (62' Vitinho) - Vanhoutte, Da Silva Lopes (84' Corryn), Hotic (84' Sampers) - Deman (62' Rubio) and Denkey (74' Somers)

OH Leuven: Romo, Malinov, Ngawa, Schrijvers (81' Vekemans), Henry, Mercier, Bese (80' Tamari), De Norre, Keita (61' Maertens), Raemaekers and Özkacar

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A late goal for Eupen denies Cercle

After goals from Kayembe and Vanhoutte resulted in the match being level, 1-1, at halftime, the match seemed to be heading for a draw for a long time. A late header by Agbadou, however, decided the match in Eupen's favour.

Matondo made a first start for Cercle, replacing Somers in attack. Beyond the Welshman's inclusion, there were no further changes to Yves Vanderhaeghe's team. The match served to honor the Me to You movement, as Miguel Van Damme kicked off amid cheers from the Groen-Zwart's supporters.

Both teams started the game eagerly, but it was Eupen who first came close to scoring after ten minutes. A shot by Prevljak from just outside the box hit the post between a bunch of defenders. Nine minutes later the Pandas would have their opener: a deflected cross ended up at the feet of Kayembe, who did not hesitate to make it 0-1. Cercle reacted, though with Vitinho providing the creativity, and it was the Brazilian who initiated the play which led to the equalizer. His pass was poorly cleared by the Eupen defense and cleverly played in by Millan for Vanhoutte, who finished hard to make it 1-1. Both teams would then come close to scoring just before the half. Prevljak fired from close range at Didillon but the 'keeper stood strong, while at the other end, a cross from Velkovsky was put on target by Millan, only for  goalkeeper Himmelman to make a fine save.

Despite a lot of effort from both sides, the second half was a lot more sloppy than the first, which meant that the fans saw fewer scoring chances. Twenty minutes before time, Hotic was brought on and he immediately made a difference. An interception followed by a good cross from the Bosnian ended up at Millan's feet, but he couldn't get a shot away. Cercle had hoped to make it 2-1, but the deciding goal would come for their opponents ten minutes from time, as a free kick by Peeters was headed home by the Eupen defender Agbadou. Vanderhaeghe would bring on Waldo, Somers and Denkey in the hopes of getting an equalizer, but Cercle did not come closer to scoring than a header from the latter of these on a free kick.

Cercle: Didillon, Vitinho, Utkus, Daland (Rubio 85'), Miangue, Velkovski, Da Silva, Vanhoutte, Deman (Hotic 72'), Matondo (Somers 92') and Millan (Denkey 85')

Eupen: Himmelmann, Beck (Deom 58'), Heris, Agbadou, Amat, Cools, Peeters, Kayembe (N'Dri 58'), Lambert (Keita 77'), Nuhu (Gnaka 92') and Prevljak (Koné 92').

Goals: Kayembe (0-1 19'), Vanhoutte (1-1 35'), Agbadou (1-2 81')

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Comeback at the Gaverbeek!

The home team were already counting their blessings after Zinho Gano had given them a 2-0 lead just after the start of the second half, but in the last half hour Cercle would completely turn the match around. Alex Millàn first drew Cercle level with a header and a penalty. However Cercle wanted more than just one point and were rewarded in the match's final spell: Vitinho headed Cercle in front and Hotic would close the scoring, making it 2-4 deep in injury time.

With Thibo Somers in for Waldo Rubio, Yves Vanderhaeghe only made one change compared to the previous game, but tactically, he took a different approach. Olivier Deman was played deeper, allowed to try to provide creativity from midfield. Although the final score suggests otherwise, the first part of the match was very closely contested. Cercle did have verticality via Somers and Millàn, but that did not result in any opportunities. On Pletinckx's intervention against Millàn, there was an appeal for a penalty, but the referee Boucaut did not respond. The home team did have most of the ball, but could not put Cercle under pressure.

Gano's opening goal came out of the blue and it was no coincidence that it came after a set piece. The tall striker reacted first to a corner kick and headed in from close range. The home team went into halftime with an undeserved lead, one that would even climb to 2-0 at the start of the second half. Again Gano was involved: on a high cross he would beat Velkovsky, making the best of his the opportunity.

Despite the deficit, Cercle's heads did not drop. Matondo came on for Somers up front and the speed of the debutant immediately caused nervousness among the home team. He immediately turned Hubert but couldn't get past Bostyn from close range. Vitinho would then have plenty of time to measure a cross and found Millàn (who had also started the attack) at the far post for the opening goal. After strong work by Da Silva Lopes, Millàn immediately had the chance to make it 2-2, but Bostyn stood firm. A few minutes later, things were level: after Sormo's handball, Boucaut pointed to the spot. Millàn was given the responsibility as penalty taker and scored the equalizer with a low, hard finish.

Nervousness now increased for the home team, who struggled to keep the ball. Cercle played some fine combinations and went looking for more in the last 20 minutes. Yves Vanderhaeghe threw on more offensive options in Waldo Rubio, Kevin Denkey and Dino Hotic. That courage would soon be rewarded in the final phase: Waldo Rubio turned in a cross and Vitinho nodded home at the back post. The home team was unable to get a final attack off the ground and the result would be sealed in stoppage time. Matondo was blocked by Bostyn, but Dino Hotic mercilessly blasted home the rebound. At the very end of the match, Jelle Vossen would received a red card after a foul on Velkovski.

The changes from the bench and the supporters who traveled to support the team, as well as the late goals  spoke volumes. This second (away) win of the season should give confidence for next Friday's match against Eupen.

SV Zulte-Waregem: Bostyn – Ciranni (Dompé 79'), Humphreys, Pletinckx, SØrmo (Boya 79' ), Srarfi (Kutesa 73') – Hubert, Sissako, Vigen – Vossen and Gano

Cercle Brugge: Didillon - Vitinho, Utkus, Daland, Miangue, Velkovski - Vanhoutte (Hotic 85'), Da Silva Lopes, Deman (Rubio 85' ) - Somers (Matondo 54') and Millàn (Denkey 79')

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Our Internationals

While the preparation for the next game at Jan Breydel is in full swing at Zulte-Waregem, 6 players had international commitments this week. Below an overview:

  • Kévin Denkey played with Togo against Senegal and Namibia as part of the qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar. Against Senegal, Denkey played 10 minutes. (2-0 loss). Togo also lost their next match against Namibia 0-1. Denkey played 19 minutes in the match.
  • Dimitar Velkovski was called up for Bulgaria as part of the World Championship qualifications. On 2 September Bulgaria played against European champion Italy. This match ended 1-1. Against Lithuania of Edgaras Utkus it was 1-0 for Bulgaria. The third match for Bulgaria was on 8 September at home against Georgia. With Velkovski on the pitch for 90 minutes it became 4-0.
  • Edgaras Utkus took on Lithuania against Dimitar Velkovski's Bulgaria (1-1) and against Northern Ireland on 2 September. It was 1-4 in favour of the Northern Irish. In both matches Utkus played 90 minutes. Against European champion Italy, Lithuania lost heavily: 5-0 in Italy. Utkus played 45 minutes. 
  • Olivier Deman received a letter of invitation for the U21 of Belgium. In the qualification games for the European Football Championship -U21, Deman and co. played against Turkey (2/09). In Turkey, it became 0-3 for the Red Devils.
  • Boris Popovic, our new central defender, was selected for the U21 of Serbia. In the qualification for Euro U21, he played against Ukraine (3/09) and North Macedonia (7/09). Against Ukraine, Serbia lost 0-1. In and against Macedonia it was 0-0.
  • Finally, Jesper Daland was called up for the U21 of Norway. He played in the qualification for the European Championship U21 against Austria (3/09) and Estonia (7/09). At home against Austria, Daland and co won with 3-1. Daland played 90 minutes. In the match against Estonia Daland played 63 minutes. He also picked up a yellow card.

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CAPS GOAL OF THE MONTH: juli-augustus

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