On the opening day of the new season, Cercle went to the Kiel to face Beerschot. The Groen-Zwart had a difficult start, having to sub off the injured Miangue for Popovic before half-time. Just before the break, Decostere delivered a wonderful cross that Deman headed in flawlessly. Unfortunately, the game had to be stopped after half-time due to heavy rain that made the pitch unplayable.
Coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had brought in in 3 debutants in the form of central defenders Utkus, Daland and Miangue. Decostere and Vitinho manned the flanks while in midfield, newly-minted captain Charles Vanhoutte and Hannes Van der Bruggen, together with Hotic, were responsible for prodviding service to Denkey and Deman. The other new signings, Sousa and Rubio, were absent from the teamsheet.
From kickoff, the rain came pouring down from the sky. This cloudburst lasted for about ten minutes and immediately resulted in a very fast pitch on which every ball moved unpredictably and players slid for meters when making tackles in a match that was also marked by the return of fans to stadiums after a season away owing to COVID-19.
72 hours later, the match was resumed, on Tuesday, July 27; both coaches would make some changes. For the hosts, Beerschot, Sanyang and Eleke started instead of Krekovic and Réda. As for the Groen-Zwart, Da Silva Lopes came on for Van der Bruggen.
Beerschot had little time to settle in, but didn't get any further than winning a pair of corner kicks in the match's first 15 minutes. Then, in the 78th minute, Dom took a chance from just outside the penalty area and to Didillon's relief, the ball flashed just wide of the goal.
Beerschot did seem to be energized by this chance and would put Cercle under pressure. Holzhauser launched one ball after another into the box, but Cercle were very solid defensively. Peter Maes then brought on Noubissi in place of Suzuki to strengthen the attack. Yves Vanderhaeghe also made a change, with Somers replacing Denkey.
In added time, Didillon was able to tap a corner kick which had been met by Dom just over his goal. With that, the final whistle blew; Cercle had kept a clean sheet and Olivier Deman's goal was enough for the first three points of the season.
Cercle Brugge: Didillon - Vitinho, Utkus, Daland, Miangue (38' Popovic), Decostere - Vanhoutte, Van der Bruggen (Da Silva Lopes 55'), Hotic - Denkey (Somers 91') and Deman
Beerschot: Vanhamel, Konstantopoulos, Frans, Van den Buijs, Halaimia (Sanyang 55'), Dom, Van den Bergh, De Smet, Krekovic (Eleke 55'), Holzhauser and Suzuki (Noubissi 87')