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Cercle come up short against a mature and efficient Antwerp

The Groen-Zwart were unable to surprise leaders Antwerp at home. Cercle were full of good intentions but came up short against their experienced visitors. With an early goal and a goal halfway through the second half, they  kept the distance between themselves and the Groen-Zwart. Cercle was full of good attacking intention, but were unable to disrupt a composed Antwerp side's organization.

Although Cercle tried to pull into the lead in the opening phases of play, league leader Antwerp took the lead with their first chance. Ekkelenkamp got forward on the right and found his teammate Janssen with a cross -- all the Dutch striker had to do was simply tap the ball in. The Groen-Zwart continued to play football with good intentions and tried to take the initiative, but in the final third their efforts lacked a cutting edge. The visitors played a well organized brand of football and tried to switch play quickly in possession. However, that did not result in many opportunities. Cercle would threaten through shots from distance. Twice, it took a good save from Butez to stop Hotic's free kick, while an effort from Miangue wasn't far away, either. An efficient Antwerp went into halftime with a small lead.

Even after the break we had to wait for strong opportunities, despite Cercle's good intentions. Via Popovic, Denkey and substitute Ghobo, the Groen-Zwart came close to Antwerp's goal several times, but their attempts lacked a cutting edge. The visitors had the game under control without creating many chances of their own. Halfway through the second half, they showed themselves to be efficient again: Alderweireld climbed the highest on a corner delivered by Nainggolan and left Majecki without a chance. The match was thus settled, as the youthful Groen-Zwart had to recognize a superior, mature and clinical Antwerp side. Cercle would threaten one more time via Ghobo, but his attempt lacked the power to beat Butez.

Cercle: Majecki, Decostere, Popovic, Marcelin (Ravych 46'), Torres (Miangue 26'), Da Silva, Van Der Bruggen (Francis 46'), Deman (Ghobo 56'), Hotic, Ueda (Wilke 85') and Thinkey.

Antwerp: Butez, De Laet (Bataille 46'), Pacho, Alderweireld, Vines, Nainggolan (Scott 85'), Yusuf, Ekkelenkamp (Gerkens 29'), Miyoshi, Valencia (Nsimba 64') and Janssen (Fischer 85') .

Goals: Janssen 0-1 (6', assist Ekkelenkamp), Alderweireld (68', assist Nainggolan).

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