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A difficult evening in Charleroi

It is an understatement to say that Charleroi are not Cercle's favorite opponent and this time too, just about everything that could go wrong went wrong. Just as in the reverse fixture, Cercle were quickly faced with a double deficit. Things had gone completely wrong before half time with a red card and two goals conceded. In what was an unnecessary second half, Charleroi added an additional goal.

The first shots came for Cercle, via Da Silva Lopes and Hannes Van Der Bruggen, but it was the home team that struck early doors, as Kayembe's opening goal (1-0, 7',) involved plenty of bad luck, but there was nothing that could be do against Bayo's shot for the second (2-0, 9').

Cercle immediately increased the pressure, but then quickly shot themselves in the foot. Edgaras Utkus was sent off for a foul on Ilaimaharitra after VAR had intervened. Dominik Thalhammer had to change the team, and brought on Popovic for Denkey. However, with a two-goal lead and playing with ten men, Charleroi looked set to build their lead, and Bayo (3-0, 36') and Heymans (4-0, 42') extended the deficit even further before the interval.

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Cercle tried to get to grips with the match in the second half, but conceded another goal from Zaroury (5-0, 55') on the first counter made by the hosts. Robbe Decostere's arrival made it four youth products on the pitch, but he couldn't change the story of the match further.

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Although the ball was mainly in Charleroi's half, a handful of attempts were made by the home team. They only became really dangerous again in the final quarter, but Warleson always had an answer to attempts by Tchatchoua, Badji and Zorgane.

Charleroi: Koffi, Andreou, Ozornwafor, Knezevic, Tchatchoua (Mbenza 87'), Ilaimaharitra (Gholizadeh 70'), Zorgane, Kayembe (Nkuba 70'), Heymans (Wasinski 70'), Bayo (Zaroury 51') and Badji.

Cercle: Warleson, Vitinho (Decostere 62'), Utkus, Daland, Velkovski (Corryn 90'), Van Der Bruggen, Da Silva Lopes (Vanhoutte 46'), Hotic, Matondo (Somers 46'), Deman and Denkey (Popovic 25').

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The match was deadlocked for a long time by two teams who battled hard in midfield. Halfway through, Castro-Montes found Depoitre on the edge of the box. The striker turned and shot. He saw his attempt come off the far post but Majecki was first to an attempt by Cuypers.

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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.

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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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