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After an excellent performance, Cercle had to settle for a point against KRC Genk. Ueda crowned a fantastic first half by our Groen-Zwart with a great goal. Paintsil equalized early in the second half, however and while both teams had chances for a second goal, but a winner wouldn't come for either side.
Less than a week after the defeat away to Anderlecht, the Groen-Zwart were set to host the leaders, Genk in the Jan Breydel Stadium. After a red card against Anderlecht, Denkey had to sit this match out through suspension. He was replaced in the eleven by Gboho, with Van Der Bruggen also appearing in place of Vanhoutte.
An eager Cercle immediately went on the attack. With their energetic style, Cercle immediately put the visitors under pressure and quickly created a few chances in the opening fifteen minutes via Gboho, Ravych and Deman. The visitors tried to shake off this pressure by playing the ball quickly, but barely found an answer to the play of the Groen-Zwart. Cercle remained on top and were almost rewarded for that on the half hour as a shot by Ueda came off the post. The next big chance was taken, though: after a recovery, Gboho moved forward to find Ueda perfectly. The Japanese slotted the ball past Vandevoordt and gave Cercle a deserved lead.
Early in the second half, the visitors created two good chances. Through El Khannous and Samatta, the ball came in the barrel of Paintsil, but Popovic was able to clear. Two minutes later, the score was level: Paintsil found space and then placed the ball out of the reach of Warleson in goal. Cercle had to recover for a while, but kept threatening. A shot from Francis went just over and Ueda also came close to scoring a second goal. Cercle grew into the game again and emphatically went looking for a second goal. When Deman went down in the box, he looked for a penalty kick, but VAR did not intervene. Genk also tried to collect the three points. However, their substitute, Sor, shot too weakly. The final chance would fall to our Groen-Zwart, but as Siquet got the ball played into him in the box, but just couldn't get his effort on target.
So the match ended with the points shared against the leaders, after a great performance as manager Miron Muslic rightly praised the team at the press conference after the game.
Cercle: Warleson, Popovic, Ravych, Daland, Van Der Bruggen, Francis (Vanhoutte 85'), Siquet, Deman, Somers, Gboho (Hotic 71') and Ueda (Miangue 92').
KRC Genk: Vandevoordt, Sadick, McKenzie, Arteaga, Heynen, Hrosovsky (Ouattara 78'), Munoz, El Khannous, Trésor (Preciado 90'), Paintsil and Samatta (Sor 78').
Goals: Ueda 40' (1-0), Paintsil 54' (1-1)
Anderlecht hosted the Groen-Zwart at Lotto Park on the occasion of the 29th matchday in the Jupiler Pro League. Beforehand, Cercle had a four point lead over the Purple & White, making them the most feared competitor for the team from Brussels in the battle for a place in the European Play-Offs. Coach Miron Muslic again kept faith with to the same eleven players that had picked up three points at home against Seraing last week.
Despite a slip-up at the start, our Groen-Zwart translated a strong match against Seraing into a fine victory. Cercle were consistently the better and more dangerous team, but had to chase the game for half an hour after conceding an early goal. Siquet opened the scoring for the Association with a nice free kick, after which the inevitable Ueda made the difference with two goals.
The visitors were urgently looking for points and took the lead with their first attack. After a long run from Mansoni, Marius received the ball centrally; the attacker left Warleson without a chance with an angled shot in the third minute. Cercle immediately reacted via Ueda, whose effort was blocked by goalkeeper Dietsch. The Groen-Zwart had the upper hand, but for a long time did not find a hole in the visitors’ defence. Nevertheless, Cercle would completely change the situation, and in record time. On the half hour, Cercle had a free kick just outside the box. It was drilled into the net by Siquet, who hit the ball past Dietsch's reach. Barely 1 minute and 27 seconds later it was another goal. The unmarked Ueda was found centrally, after which the Japanese coolly scored his twelfth goal of the season. Cercle retained their dominance and deservedly took the lead at the interval.
After the break, the Groen-Zwart continued to look for another, to kill the game off. Denkey, who had already seen a header saved by Dietsch, turned several visiting players in the 55th minute and then sent Ueda through perfectly. Seraing's goalkeeper had no chance again as Cercle were dominant and continued to play together while being dangerous. Denkey just failed to score on a fine cross from Deman before Daland's perfect header hit the crossbar and Denkey's shot went just wide. The lead could therefore have been even bigger and Cercle were not in trouble at any time. So it was three deserved points for the Groen-Zwart, as we remain well-placed in the top eight.
Cercle: Warleson, Popovic, Ravytch, Daland (Miangue 87'), Siquet (Hotic 70'), Vanhoutte, Francis (Van Der Bruggen 64'), Deman, Somers (Decostere 87'), Ueda (Gboho 70') and Denkey.
Seraing: Dietsch, Opare, Nekadio, Lepoint, Sambu, Ba, Lahssaini (Vagner 72'), Sissoko (Kilota 82'), Poaty, Mansoni, Mvoue and Marius.
Goals: Marius 3' (1-0), Siquet 32' (1-1), Ueda 33' (2-1), Ueda 55' (3-1)