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Despite a blistering start, Cercle draw 1-1 against Zulte Waregem

After a loss in Genk, Zulte Waregem were came to the Jan Breydel for the 6th round of the season. Both teams had only collected four points from the five previous games and so were eager to win. Cercle started out the better of the two sides and after 11 minutes their play resulted in the opener via Ayase. Five minutes later, Rommens equalized out of nowhere, and the score wouldn't change as the teams split the points.

Dominik Thalhammer had some new faces in training in the week before the match. He put newcomers Francis and Wilke on the bench. Up front, Denkey replaced the injured Deman. In midfield, captain Van der Bruggen was allowed to take the place of Vanhoutte who was not fit for the match.

Cercle immediately had the upper hand in a blistering opening phase of play. In the second minute Hotic played a ball in front of the goal. At the back post, Ueda saw his header flash wide off the upright. The ball came back onto the pitch, but no one could slot the rebound home. Immediately afterwards, the Groen-Zwart's Japanese striker cleverly played the ball on to Somers, who shot quickly, but also hit the post.

With saves on attempts by Somers and Ayase, Bossut kept Cercle at bay for the first ten minutes, but in the 11th minute we would find the opener. Denkey neatly found Ueda who would score. The Groen-Zwart's Japanese striker put the ball into the far corner, his first goal for the Club!

Zulte Waregem continued to be under pressure in the opening quarter of an hour, but it was Rommens who suddenly popped up at the other end out of nowhere, finding some space to score with a low shot to level the match.

Cercle Brugge KSV

After the equalizer, the blistering pace of the Groen-Zwart then relented and the visitors were able to restore the balance of the game somewhat. After the break, the game remained unchanged for a long time. Gradually, the Essevee gained confidence, especially through the very active Fadera, who had to leave the pitch injured just as the match in the last ten minutes.

A point was not exactly what the Groen-Zwart had hoped for, and with seven minutes left, Wilke was allowed to make his debut after Francis had come on earlier in the match for a tiring Ueda. Heitor came on too, and his entrance immediately brought some fire into the match.

The Brazilian was able to get on the end of a loose ball after a scrimmage in front of goal and shot at Bossut, the 'keeper punched clear for a corner. Things didn't go any further, as a final attack by the Groen-Zwart came to nothing and it was the efforts that had hit the post at the beginning of the first half that continued to haunt Cercle.

Cercle: Majecki, Daland, Popovic, Decostere (Heitor 85'), Torres, Da Silva Lopes, Van der Bruggen, Hotic, Somers (Francis 66'), Denkey and Ayase (Wilke 85').

Zulte Waregem: Bossut, Tsouka-Dozi (Derijck 90'), Lopez, Drambaiev, Sissako, Fadera (Ciranni 81'), Vossen (Vossen 90'), Tambedou, Rommens, Ramirez (Sangare 65') and Miroshi.

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Cercle are pegged back late on against Oostende

Cercle seemed on their way to a deserved home win for a long time, but thanks to two late penalties, the visitors were able to pull out a draw. It was too meager a reward for Cercle, who failed to make progress in the table with this point.

Senna Miangue made his return last week as a substitute and was now back in the eleven. After a quiet opening twenty minutes in which only Denkey's attempt on Hubert's goal was a real threat, Cercle took control of the game. After some good build-up play by Dino Hotic, Denkey failed to find the net, as Hubert made a good save with his feet. Then, as the Oostende 'keeper was well-beaten by Hannes Van der Bruggen's placed ball, he was saved by his crossbar.

While referee Lardot initially did not respond to a call from VAR for a possible handball by Tanghe, a penalty for Cercle followed shortly after. Hotic turned his his defender, Medley, who fouled our playmaker. Kevin Denkey would take the penalty, but Hubert was able to push his effort away for a corner. The breakthrough came on the resulting corner: Popovic had a free header, Hubert was unable to hold his effort and the ball fell to Kevin Denkey (38', 1-0), who would score his first goal of the season.

Goals are sometimes like a bus: you wait a long time for one and then suddenly two come in quick succession. After a nice bit of skill by Dino Hotic and a through ball from Hannes Van der Bruggen, Ueda was able to double the lead just before the interval. In this way Cercle would go into halftime with a deserved lead.

The visitors reacted with three changes at half time and two more substitutions around the hour mark, but those didn't change the character of game much. Ueda failed to make it 3-0 from close range, which in retrospect would be a turning point in the match. The visitors became a little quicker on long balls and were thus able to beat the Cercle defense for the first time. Berte would get in behind, but Majecki denied him with a good save.

In the match's final quarter, things would go wrong for Cercle. After an intervention from VAR, Lardot tossed Oostende a lifeline by awarding a penalty for handball by Robbe Decostere. Majecki was able to keep Ambrose's effort out of this goal (76'), but he was able to score the visitors' opener via a follow-up from Sakamoto. Cercle seemed a bit unsettled and the visitors took advantage by scoring another penalty just a few minutes later. Ambrose (82', 2-2) left Majecki no chance this time, levelling the score. In the match's final stanza, Cercle could not turn the tide, as the best opportunities would fall to McGeehan.

Lineups:

Cercle: Majecki, Decostere, Popovic, Marcelin (Daland 72'), Miangue (Heitor 72'), Van der Bruggen (Vanhoutte 62'), Da Silva Lopes, Hotic, Deman (Gboho 88'), Ueda (Wilke 88') and Denkey.

KV Oostende: Hubert, Urhoghide (McGeehan 46'), Tanghe, Medley (Capon 65'), D'Haese, Rocha (Katelaris 46'), Dewaele, Bätzner (Berte 46'), Sakamoto, Ambrose and Hornby (Atanga 61')

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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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