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Cercle were able to play free of worry on the last matchday of the league season, as they headed to Ostend, where their opponent still needed a victory to claim a place in the European play-offs. Shortly after the break Ugbo opened the score for the Groen-Zwart, before Kvasina equalized for the hosts in added time.
Coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had to adjust his starting eleven considerably due to the absences of Hoggas and Velkovski (suspended). Didillon and Lopes Da silva were also missing with injuries and Taravel also was a late scratch having fallen ill. As a result, Charles Vanhoutte was captain to start the match and there were also starts handed to Corryn and Hotic.
The game started with a lively display from both sides. Ostend immediately tried to press Cercle, but the Groen-Zwart responded in kind. In minute 11, Thiam, marginally offside, was able to beat Cercle's defense, but an alert display from the goalkeeper Bruzzese kept the KVO striker from scoring the opening goal. Cercle came back into the match and then Deman was offered a good chance, but the striker decided to pass from a sharp angle, attempting to play in Hotic, who could not quite reach the ball, and things remained 0-0 in what was a very enjoyable match.
Alexander Blessin had to urge his Oostende side to win and to do so after the break he brought Sakkala on for Thiam. But it was Cercle this time that came out strongest and early in the second half there was a good chance for Decostere, but the winger's shot from close range was right at Hubert. The ball was not cleared immediately, though, and Ugbo was able to tap for his 16th goal of the season. However, the flag was raised, curtailing Cercle's celebrations, but after watching the images from VAR, the referee Boucaut gave the goal after all.
Cercle Brugge is surprised by the (international) reports on the possible introduction of a 'Beneliga'. The reason for this is the press release issued by the Pro League on 16/03/2021, which states that a "unanimous agreement in principle" has been reached "on the direction for the future ambition of Belgian professional football".
This presents the possible introduction of a Beneliga as a fait accompli, which is neither correct nor acceptable. At the General Meeting of 16/03/2021, there was no agreement, nor decision, on the introduction of a League of Nations. However, an agreement was made to prepare a substantive proposal concerning the organisation of a League and to present it to the General Assembly. Cercle Brugge calls for a correct working method to be respected and regrets any misleading communication about the train of thought on the table.
Cercle Brugge points to the rich tradition and diversity of Belgian football and its close relationship with local supporters. Any future ambition for Belgian professional football must take this uniqueness into account. A well-considered approach based on constructive consultation is therefore crucial.