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Standard top Cercle with two penalties | 2-0

With three points from six from the first two matchdays, Cercle headed to the Stade de Sclessin hungry for a result. Standard needed the points as well, after only a draw from their first two matches. Both teams fought for every blade of grass in a physical match in Liège. Amallah, with two penalties in the first half, was the key man in the match, as the Rouches' creative midfielder converted both flawlessly.

Dominik Thalhammer had brought on Popovic (back from suspension) in place of the injured Utkus and in attack Denkey was preferred to Ueda.

Both teams started the game with a lot of intensity and that immediately resulted in some crunching duels. Although this battling style resulted in few chances, it was a pleasantly lively Sunday afternoon match.

On the half hour, Raskin sent in a corner towards Amallah. The midfielder had enough space to shoot, and in doing so his effort struck Denkey's arm. It was a penalty kick, said match referee Lambrecht, and Amallah himself took the spot kick to give the hosts the lead.

Cercle Brugge KSV

Cercle had a hard time given the enthusiasm of the home crowd, but gradually made progress. Just before halftime, Denkey suddenly had a big chance. Somers sent in a cross to the striker and he was able to get it on target. However, Bodart was immense and made himself big, keeping the striker's effort out.

The real sting would come, though, at the end of the first half. Torres launched into a tackle on Donnum in the area, despite the Standard man having previously planted his studs into Van der Bruggen's knee, which had not earned him a card. Lambrechts saw no foul, but VAR called on him to the sideline. The ball went to the spot again and Amallah didn't fail this time either.

After the break, Ueda and Vanhoutte came on as Van der Bruggen could not continue and Deman was also dropped to the bench.

Standard: Bodart, Dewaele (Bokadi 85'), Dussenne, Dragus (Noubi 85'), Cimirot, Emond (Ohio 71'), Donnum (Boljevic 71'), Amallah, Raskin, Laifis and Laursen

Cercle: Majecki, Torres (Velkovski 76'), Daland, Popovic, Decostere (Heitor 76'), Van der Bruggen (Vanhoutte 46'), Lopes Da Silva, Hotic, Somers, Deman (Ueda 46') and Denkey (Kehrer 65')

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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.


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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The Groen-Zwart were unable to surprise leaders Antwerp at home. Cercle were full of good intentions but came up short against their experienced visitors. With an early goal and a goal halfway through the second half, they  kept the distance between themselves and the Groen-Zwart. Cercle was full of good attacking intention, but were unable to disrupt a composed Antwerp side's organization.

Although Cercle tried to pull into the lead in the opening phases of play, league leader Antwerp took the lead with their first chance. Ekkelenkamp got forward on the right and found his teammate Janssen with a cross -- all the Dutch striker had to do was simply tap the ball in. The Groen-Zwart continued to play football with good intentions and tried to take the initiative, but in the final third their efforts lacked a cutting edge. The visitors played a well organized brand of football and tried to switch play quickly in possession. However, that did not result in many opportunities. Cercle would threaten through shots from distance. Twice, it took a good save from Butez to stop Hotic's free kick, while an effort from Miangue wasn't far away, either. An efficient Antwerp went into halftime with a small lead.

Even after the break we had to wait for strong opportunities, despite Cercle's good intentions. Via Popovic, Denkey and substitute Ghobo, the Groen-Zwart came close to Antwerp's goal several times, but their attempts lacked a cutting edge. The visitors had the game under control without creating many chances of their own. Halfway through the second half, they showed themselves to be efficient again: Alderweireld climbed the highest on a corner delivered by Nainggolan and left Majecki without a chance. The match was thus settled, as the youthful Groen-Zwart had to recognize a superior, mature and clinical Antwerp side. Cercle would threaten one more time via Ghobo, but his attempt lacked the power to beat Butez.

Cercle: Majecki, Decostere, Popovic, Marcelin (Ravych 46'), Torres (Miangue 26'), Da Silva, Van Der Bruggen (Francis 46'), Deman (Ghobo 56'), Hotic, Ueda (Wilke 85') and Thinkey.

Antwerp: Butez, De Laet (Bataille 46'), Pacho, Alderweireld, Vines, Nainggolan (Scott 85'), Yusuf, Ekkelenkamp (Gerkens 29'), Miyoshi, Valencia (Nsimba 64') and Janssen (Fischer 85') .

Goals: Janssen 0-1 (6', assist Ekkelenkamp), Alderweireld (68', assist Nainggolan).

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