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An early penalty decides Cercle-Westerlo

Cercle did not succeed in winning their first match of the new year as an early penalty decided the game in favor of Westerlo. Cercle were always the most threatening team, but were frustrated by the good organization of the visitors as a potential equalizer from Ueda was rightly disallowed for offside.

Miron Muslic changed his starting eleven in three positions. The injured Ravych was replaced by Miangue, Velkovski started in place of the suspended Deman and Da Silva returned to the starting line-up after serving his own suspension.

Early in the game, Akbunar went down theatrically in the box after a light touch from Velkovski. Penalty, said referee De Cremer. Majecki got to Chadli's penalty with his fingertips, but it was not enough to keep the ball out of his goal. The visitors were immediately stuck into the game and passed the ball around smoothly. It took a while before the Groen-Zwart could react. Denkey's attempt went wide, and a minute later Bolat had to intervene again as Hotic was able to take advantage of Bolat's bad pass, and it looked like Ueda had brought Cercle level. However, the Japanese attacker was flagged offside after he had found the net. Thereafter, the Groen-Zwart were the better team and was the only ones who created much danger, but were not rewarded for their hard work. The visitors went into the break with a narrow lead.

Cercle Brugge KSV

Cercle came out of the dressing room strong and pinned the visitors back. However, their dominance did not translate into opportunities that. Bolat had some trouble with a long shot from Hotic, but was assisted by his defenders. The visitors dropped back en masse and defended with nine players around their own penalty area. Cercle found no space and Bolat showed himself to be the strongest on every high ball. Substitute Gboho was just onto the pitch when he just came short of finding the goal. The Groen-Zwart would mainly threaten with shots from range. Attempts by substitute Francis and Vanhoutte were creditable, but not enough to make a difference. Westerlo were unable to respond offensively, but it held their ground. It was thus a frustrating evening for Cercle and thier supporters, who saw Westerlo take the three points without any real level of attacking play.

Cercle: Majecki, Popovic (Kehrer 81'), Daland, Miangue, Vanhoutte, Da Silva (Francis 68'), Somers, Velkovski, Hotic (Gboho 68'), Ueda and Denkey.

Westerlo: Bolat, Fixelles, Chadli (Vetokele 81'), Madsen, Foster, De Cuyper, Reynolds (Jordanov 46'), Tagir, Naustadter, Akbunar (Perdichizzi 68') and Nene (Van Eenoo 68').

Goals: 6' Chadli (0-1, penalty)

Cercle Brugge KSV

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