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Cercle's late goals see off Eupen

For Cercle, with Utkus, Waldo, Matondo and the suspended Da Silva Lopes, some key names were missing, but with the home team it was a lot more difficult to string together a starting eleven due to a raft of COVID infections. The hosts compensated for their lack of experience with a lot of enthusiasm and were able to make life difficult for Cercle for long stretches of time. Only in the final quarter of an hour would Cercle strike via Somers and Hotic and thus bring back the result.

Dino Hotic's corner kicks have been a guarantee of chances in recent months and such a corner formed the basis of the first chance of the match after 10 minutes, but Daland's header was cleared off the line by a Eupen defender. Cercle often tried to play quickly, using long balls over the top, but Agbadou and his fellow defenders kept the Cercle attack at bay. Thibo Somers would try his luck with a shot from range, but Himmelmann did well to keep it out.

Both teams struggled to keep the ball and chances remained scarce in the first half. Keita also tried his luck from distance, but his shot was no problem for Didillon. Just before half-time there was a chance when Olivier Deman headed a curling cross over the bar, but Himmelmann again had the situation under control.

Cercle started the second half sharply with an effort by Millàn and a huge chance for Senna Miangue. At the other end, Didillon had to clear a shot by Magnée over the bar. Kevin Denkey came on for Millàn just before the hour and impressed immediately. Agbadou blocked his shot before Thibo Somers fired his fine cross over.

The home team became more and more physical in the last quarter hour, but in the end it was a long throw that was the basis of the opening goal. Lambert's headed clearance came off the back of his teammate Amat and Somers reacted the fastest, hitting a volley that left Himmelmann no chance (77' 0-1). Cercle pushed on and a few minutes later the referee pointed to the spot after Magnée had fouled Olivier Deman. Dino Hotic kept his cool and doubled the lead for Cercle (0-2 81'). The home team's resistance was now broken and Cercle were still looking for a third goal. Somers' shot was blocked by a home defender and Kevin Denkey spent too long on the ball in stoppage time. The match thus ended 0-2, a logical result for Cercle, who continue its good form even after the win!

Lineups:


Eupen: Himmelmann, Beck, Amat, Agbadou, Gnaka, Nanah (Essahel 70'), Lambert, Magnée (Sternon 85'), Déom (Offermann 72'), Keita, N'Dri (Embaló 85')


Cercle: Didillon, Decostere (Vitinho 46'), Popovic, Daland, Miangue, Van Der Bruggen, Vanhoutte (Kanouté 86'), Hotic, Deman (Sousa 82'), Millàn (Denkey 57') and Somers

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Cercle: Warleson, Decostere, Popovic (Vanhoutte 77'), Daland, Sousa (Vitinho 56'), Da Silva, Van Der Bruggen, Hotic, Deman (Denkey 56'), Matondo and Somers.

KAA Gent: Roef, Okumu, Ngadeu, Torunarigha, Samoise, Kums (Nurio 90+5'), Vadis (Hjulsager 45+2'), De Sart, Castro-Montes, Depoitre (Lemajic 90+5') and Tissoudali.

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In the absence of the ailing Thalhammer, his assistants De Wulf and Muslic took over his duties on the touchline, and on the pitch, captain Van Der Bruggen came back from suspension. Elsewhere, there were no changes to note in the starting eleven.

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