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Cercle Brugge KSV
Standard top Cercle with two penalties | 2-0

With three points from six from the first two matchdays, Cercle headed to the Stade de Sclessin hungry for a result. Standard needed the points as well, after only a draw from their first two matches. Both teams fought for every blade of grass in a physical match in Liège. Amallah, with two penalties in the first half, was the key man in the match, as the Rouches' creative midfielder converted both flawlessly.

Dominik Thalhammer had brought on Popovic (back from suspension) in place of the injured Utkus and in attack Denkey was preferred to Ueda.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Match report: A strong Cercle beats RSCA

After an excellent performance at home against Anderlecht, Cercle had what was a deserved victory. Despite several good chances, the Groen-Zwart, who gave Anderlecht no chances to speak of, were unable to translate what was a good first half into a lead. It wasn't until halfway through the second half, when Anderlecht started to leave space, that Cercle rewarded themselves with a fine goal by left back Louis Torres.

After a frustrating performance at Westerlo, our Groen-Zwart looked to rebound against Anderlecht. Cercle immediately put pressure on the visitors, taking the initiative. After a good quarter of an hour, Ueda, who had already had a chance, put the ball in the net. Referee Boterberg, however, had seen a foul in the build-up and the goal was waved off. Anderlecht had great difficulty getting to grips with Cercle's play and did not create a single chance before the break. In addition, Ishaq was sent off on the visitors' part. However, Cercle also failed to reward themselves on the scoreboard, despite their strong play. Van Crombrugge saved a header from Da Silva and pushed a free kick by Hotic behind for a corner. Then, when the Anderlecht goalkeeper was beaten on an attempt by Deman, Trebel was in the right place to clear the ball off the line.

The pace of the game from the first half remained unchanged in the initial phases of the second. Anderlecht, though, who had been up to this point somewhat toothless, suddenly created a huge chance: a cross from Raman was headed by Amuzu off the bottom of the crossbar. Cercle, on the other hand, failed to convert their dominance into any strong opportunities and seemed to be having a harder time against Anderlecht in the last quarter of the match. That is, until Torres found his shooting boots. The summer recruit started from his position at left back, advanced and found the goal after a one-two with Deman to get past Van Crombrugge. A brilliant goal! Anderlecht tried to get back into the match, while Cercle failed to take advantage of the space that opened up. There were no real chances at either end, though, and Cercle kept a richly deserved three points.

Cercle Brugge: Majecki, Decostere, Utkus (Ravych 38'), Daland, Torres, Da Silva, Van Der Bruggen (Vanhoutte 78'), Hotic (Denkey 78'), Somers, Deman (Sampers 86') and Ueda.

Anderlecht: Van Crombrugge, Delcroix, Hoedt, Debast, Ishaq, Amuzu (Angulo 84'), Ashimeru (Fabio Silva 46'), Trebel, Verschaeren (Arnstad 59'), Esposito (Refaelov 71') and Raman (Sadiki 59')

Goal: Torres 76' (1-0, assist Deman)

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Cercle Brugge KSV
The Groen-Zwart stumble at 't Kuipje (2-0)

Cercle closed the opening matchday of the 2022-2023 season with a trip to promoted side Westerlo. De Kemphanen have a lot of experience at home and could also count on an enthusiastic home crowd. Popovic received his second yellow card after half an hour and just before half-time, Daci opened the score for the hosts. It was an ideal scenario, and our Groen-Zwart had to chase the match after the break. The best chances came for the home team, who were making good use of the extra space. Just before full time, Vetokele would double the lead, making 2-0 the final score.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Cercle convincingly win in Dender, 0-5!

On Saturday afternoon, Cercle played their final friendly of the preseason, a visit to FC Dender. In a match played over 120 minutes, Cercle won convincingly with 0-5. Van Der Bruggen, Ueda, Hotic, Martlé and Denkey provided the goals.

There was no Daland, Utkus or Kehrer for Cercle: the trio stayed on the sidelines as a precaution, but saw Cercle off to a flying start. In order to give everyone sufficient playing time, it was decided to play football for 120 minutes and the squad was supplemented with a number of U23 players. Just as in previous weeks, Cercle started furiously and immediately put Dender under pressure. This paid off when goalkeeper Devriendt cleared a ball into Van Der Bruggen's feet and the Cercle captain in turn lobbed the ball into an empty goal, 0-1.

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Cercle Brugge KSV
Cercle draw, 1-1, against OGC Nice

On Saturday morning, Cercle finished an intensive week of training with a 1-1 draw against OGC Nice. In an exciting friendly, the Groen-Zwart created many opportunities in the first half, but in the end was an own goal by Nahounou which canceled out Delort's early goal deep in the second half.

The newly constructed pitch at the practice complex in Nice had a hard time with what were nearly tropical temperatures. Just as they did against PSV, Cercle started eagerly and immediately had a chance via Somers, but a goal did not come, and Nice found the net on their first opportunity, as Delort did well to put the ball past a stranded Warleson to make it 1-0.

Cercle did not panic and continued to look for a response, but it had to watch out for a dangerous home team. Gouiri could have made it 2-0 for Nice, but his shot went wide. For Cercle, Somers, Van Der Bruggen, Hotic, Deman and Denkey all had very good chances for what would have been a deserved 1-1, but goalkeeper Bulka stood firm. Our Groen-Zwart deserved more, but went into the break with a 1-0 deficit.

At the start of the second half, coach Thalhammer made two changes: Popovic and Van Der Bruggen were taken off for Ravych and Vanhoutte. Cercle were in control and again went in search of the equalizer, but a promising attempt by Denkey from Miangue's cross went just wide. On the hour Cercle again made plenty of changes and that freshness was immediately noticeable. Nice had a hard time coming out of their half and created little, but there was no danger from the Groen-Zwart either. In the end, the deserved equalizer came when Wolf Ackx was allowed to cross from the left and Nahounou turned the ball into his own goal, and that's where it finished, 1-1.

Cercle can look back with satisfaction on a successful week at La Turbie, as the Groen-Zwart will return to Bruges Saturday afternoon.

OGC Nice: Bulka, Bard, Dante, Delort, Gouiri, Lemina, Mendy, Rosario, Stengs, Thuram & Todibo.

Cercle Brugge: Warleson (Bruzzese 55') – Decostere, Popovic (Ravych 46'), Daland (Torres 60'), Miangue, Van Der Bruggen (Vanhoutte 46), Lopes Da Silva, Hotic (Martlé 60'), Deman (Ackx 60'), Denkey (Ueda 60') & Somers (Sampers 60').

*Emilio Kehrer and David Sousa were not fit and therefore did not play.

Goals: Delort (8', 1-0); Nahounou (OG) (83', 1-1)

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