Cercle beat KV Mechelen (3-1)
One of the league's form teams, KV Mechelen came into this match fourth in the standings, paying a visit to Bruges on matchday 16 in the Jupiler Pro League. The Groen-Zwart were looking for a goal from the off and saw Utkus open the scoring on a corner. Storm surprised the home team by equalizing just before half time, but in the second half Cercle came into their own, as Hotic gave Cercle the lead again from the spot. The Bosnian then provided a nice assist for Rabbi Matondo to make it 3-1. Finally, the first home win of the season was in the books.
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.
A scoreless match could not last, however, because Mechelen were offering little resistance. Just past the half hour, Hotic delivered a corner. Daland came under the ball at the near post, but it would fall perfectly onto the head of Utkus, who left Coucke no chance with a fine finish. Shortly thereafter, he had a similar chance, but Coucke was able to block his effort, and in the follow-up Deman couldn't finish well enough to immediately double the lead.
However, there was one more twist to the first half. Reacting quickly, Storm was able to take possession of a loose ball in front of goal. His effort across goal nestled into the far corner past Didillon, before Mrabti broke into the box from the right, hitting the post before the whistle blew with the score knotted at 1-all.
The Groen-Zwart continued to press unabated even after the break. Coucke had made a great save with his foot on an attempt by Matondo. On the hour mark, Cercle got another corner kick. Bateau charged into Daland, but Wesli De Cremer was aware of this and he pointed resolutely to the spot. It was up to Hotic, who placed the ball into the bottom right corner. Coucke was close, but the penalty kick was well placed in the corner and now the Groen-Zwart had regained the lead.
Wouter Vrancken then made some adjustments with 3 substitutions. The visitors would use those chnages to respond almost immediately. Mechelen had a huge chance, but Van der Bruggen cleared Shved's effort off the line. At the other end, on the counterattack, there was another chance for Lopes Da Silva who saw Coucke make a nice save to keep out his well-hit effort.
What seemed a thrilling final quarter of an hour was looming, but Hotic thought otherwise. He dropped a ball over the Mechelse defence into the path of Matondo who beat Coucke to make it 3-1. After that, the Groen-Zwart nipped a Mechelen final offensive in the bud to seal the three points at home.
Cercle: Didillon - Daland, Utkus, Decostere, Velkovski - Lopes Da Silva (Vanhoutte 83'), Van der Bruggen, Hotic (Vitinho 89') - Matondo (Waldo 89'), Deman (Sousa 89') and Somers (Millàn 83')
Mechelen: Coucke, Bijker (Swers 69'), Bateau, Walsh, Hairemans (Oum Gouet 30'), Storm, Cuypers (Shved 69'), Schoofs (Engvall 69'), Van Hoorenbeeck, Mrabti (De Camargo 81') and De Souza