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Cercle wins away to Seraing thanks to Popovic (0-1)

In the midweek game for matchday 13, Cercle headed to Liège, to play Seraing. The Groen-Zwart played with confidence and via a volley from Popovic made it 0-1 halfway through the first half. Near full time, Kehrer seemed to double the lead but the goal was disallowed because Gboho was judged to have handled the ball.

There were few reasons to make changes for coach Muslic, after a big win against Eupen. Only Marcelin was rotated, with Ravych being a part of the eleven at kick-off.

After a short period of both teams settling in, the Groen-Zwart had the game's first chance through Deman. He brought the ball down low in front of goal from the left, finding Denkey who was able to get off a shot. Goalkeeper Galjé was beaten, but the striker's effort went just past the far post.

The Groen-Zwart built on this first effort to take the upper hand early in the game. This soon resulted in chances for Denkey and Somers, but that did not result in an early goal. After 20 minutes there was also a first chance for Seraing, as Majecki had to dive to keep out a low shot from Cachbach.

Cercle immediately responded, pushing Seraing back. Their pressure told when the hosts lost the ball deep in their own penalty area in the 25th minute. Hotic was able to recover the ball and via Somers the ball came into the center for Boris Popovic, who shot on the volley to leave Galjé without a chance.

José Jeunechamps made two changes, bringing on Abanda and Conceicao after the break, but it was the Groen-Zwart that immediately after the break were looking for a second goal. It did not come, and thus Seraing's hopes remained alive. However, the hosts did little with the chances they had. Only ten minutes before time Elisor, on a pass from Dias Gonçalves, was able to test Majecki for the first time, but the Cercle goalkeeper quickly got down to stop the attempt.

Moments later, Elisor tried again on a ball over the top from the defence. Majecki came for the bouncing ball, allowing the striker to get off a shot, but Ravych assisted his goalkeeper and was able to clear the ball off the line.

The game was then changed by a foul on Vagner by substitute Decostere, after which a disturbance ensued and a double yellow card was given to Vagner. Seraing coach Jeunechamps also received a red card from referee Verboomen who assessed the entire phase with the VAR.

In the match's final moments, Kehrer slotted the ball past Galjé into the far corner, but after the intervention of VAR, the goal was disallowed for a handball by Gboho.

Seraing: Galjé, Trémoulet, Mbow, Sylla, Poaty (Conceiçao 46'), Sambu (Abanda 46'), Sissoko (Vagner 58'), Chachbach (Mvoué 72'), Lahssaini, Bernier and Marius (Elisor 58')

Cercle: Majecki, Daland, Ravych, Popovic, Denkey, Hotic (Gboho 71'), Vanhoutte (Francis 71'), Da Silva Lopes, Deman (Velkovski 81'), Ueda (Kehrer 81' ) and Somers (Decostere 94')

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In Oostende, Cercle had to do without goalkeeper Majecki, who missed out with a knock. Warleson took his place in net. Charles Vanhoutte immediately returned to the defence after a suspension, and Da Silva Lopes was moved to the bench as a result. Yann Gboho also took a place on the sidelines, with Kévin Denkey leading the line.


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Cercle also started the second half strongly and was close to making it 0-2, but Boris Popovic's goal was ruled out for offside. With a few substitutions, Dominik Thalhammer brought some more life to the home team, but the equalizer came completely out of the blue. After an intervention by VAR, Oostende received a penalty, which was converted by Ambrose (65', 1-1) off of Warleson's fingertips. That unexpected equalizer gave hope to Oostende again and because Cercle was no longer able to play their brand of football, it became a bit of a tough match, especially when KVO also seemed to get a second penalty for an alleged foul by Ravych, but after viewing the images, referee Visser happily reversed his decision.


The game could now go either way, even if the level of football did not remain high. Atanga forced his shot and that cost the home team dearly. At the start of injury time, Olivier Deman unleashed a perfect ball and the unmarked Hotic left Phillips with no chance (91', 1-2). Especially thanks to many interventions from VAR, another nine minutes of injury time were added, but it was Cercle that went looking to make it 1-3. Dino Hotic came closest to sealing the result with a free kick, but the post intervened. Warleson was no longer threatened and Cercle took three very important points, which were celebrated exuberantly with a full away section!


Starting lineups:
KV Oostende: Phillips, Tanghe, Rodin, Capon, Sakamoto, Amade Rocha Santos (Dwomoh 58', Urhoghide 88’), Ndicka, Batzner (58' Atanga), Durdov and Ambrose
Cercle: Warleson, Popovic, Ravych, Daland, Siquet (Gboho 82'), Abu, Vanhoutte, Deman, Somers, Ueda and Denkey (Hotic 88').

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With Kévin Denkey on the pitch after the break, Cercle was better able to keep the ball, and started strongly in the second half. We did have to be wary of a shot from Machida early on that went wide, though. Marcelin's header was a lot more dangerous but ended up coming off the top of the crossbar. Ayase Ueda also came on and put his nose with  his shot popping over Moris' goal. A few minutes later, a deserved Groen-Zwart lead finally came to pass as Abu Francis made a nice pass for the Thibo Somers, who did not hesitate to blast the ball hard past Moris into goal (68', 1-0).


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Charleroi came out of the dressing room with a different face and immediately forced a series of corner kicks. Substitute Hosseinzadeh climbed the highest after one such corner and immediately gave Charleroi the lead. The lead gave Charleroi the necessary energy, and Cercle needed a moment to recover from this blow. The Groen-Zwart tried to reclaim the initiative, but found no gap in the Carolos' defence, and set pieces also yielded little. There was almost a goal for the other side, but goalkeeper Majecki had a great reaction to both Kayembe's shot and Badji's effort from the rebound. Coach Muslic played his last card by playing Marcelin as a big and strong header of the ball in attack. Ueda was almost able to force the equalizer in extra time, but goalkeeper Koffi kept Charleroi ahead as the rebound was also blocked.
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