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Cercle snatch a victory in injury time!

Miron Muslic kicked off the match with an unchanged team, and those eleven again showed plenty of zeal as OH Leuven clearly had a hard time with that. In the first half hour both teams could only create some danger via corner kicks, little that was difficult for the goalkeepers.

The last quarter of the first half made up for it, though, as Charles Vanhoutte created the first chance with a good interception, a long run and a shot that went just over before, a little later Cercle took the lead. Thibo Somers was strong and smart throughout the game and brought the ball down in front of the goal. Ayase Ueda showed his jumping ability there and our World Cup-bound attacker headed home for the opener (36', 1-0). However, Cercle could not enjoy the lead for long. De Norre was given just a little too much time to make a pass and found Mario Gonzalez, who finished well (41', 1-1).

The second half started almost ideallly for Cercle. After bad ball from goalkeeper Cojacaru, Ueda was able to get on to the ball. His cross palmed onto Da Silva Lopes' feet by the Leuven 'keeper, but our midfielder's effort was cleared off the goal line by Dom. For Leuven, only Gonzalez could trouble Majecki on the hour. The OHL attacker shot wide, but he was also offside.

The visitors played a little better in the second half under pressure from Cercle, but that did not result in any more than possession of the ball. They barely got into Majecki's area. At the other end, Cojacaru was also a spectator, because Cercle also failed to find its strikers often enough. Cercle continued to work for the win and in stoppage time they were rewarded. Ricca headed the ball down to the feet of Christiaan Ravych (91', 2-1) who fired home the matchwinner, his first goal in professional football. There was no time left for a reaction from the visitors and Cercle would notch their third home win in a row.

Starting lineups:

Cercle: Majecki, Popovic, Ravych, Daland, Somers, Vanhoutte (Francis 77'), Da Silva Lopes, Deman, Hotic (Kehrer 88'), Ueda (Gboho 80') and Denkey.

OH Leuven: Cojocaru, Ouédraogo (Keita 42'), Ricca, Patris, Kiyine (Vlietinck 88'), De Norre, Dom, Tamari, Holzhauser (Thorsteinsson 62), Maertens and Gonzalez.

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Cercle had a chance for the first time when Deman received what had been a deep ball from Popovic back from Denkey. He crossed hard to Ueda, who was able to shoot but the Japan international saw his effort go just past the far post. The home team then took control, but both goalkeepers had a relatively worry-free first half.

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Bernd Hollerbach immediately brought on three substitutes, hoping to turn the tide. But substitute Kaya was sent off after just nine minutes. After a duel with Popovic, the Truiden player reacted by kicking out. VAR had seen it, and a red card immediately followed.

That immediately ensured that the final attacks by the hosts would be without much danger, despite five added minutes of play. In added time, Lopes Da Silva would receive a second yellow card, but it didn't change the result. With the result, our Groen-Zwart moved level with OHL into eighth place in the table.

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