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.
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.
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').