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)