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Ten-man Cercle win big against OHL to keep up the fight for survival

When Hoggas got a red card just after the half hour mark, Cercle seemed to have shot themselves in the foot in this vital match in their fight for survival. Still, despite being outnumbered, Cercle showed tremendous resilience and beat OHL comfortably, 3-0. With this result, Cercle took a big step towards staying in the top flight.

The Groen-Zwart showed its attacking ambitions from kick-off and that quickly resulted in some good chances. Romo was lucky after only two minutes that his clearance, rebounding off Ugbo, went wide and a few minutes later Cercle forced him into several saves. Cercel were definitely more eager, but had to watch out for the visitors on the counter. Halfway through the first half, Henry hit a curling shot that flashed just wide. On the half hour, Hoggas tried to pull out of a challenge on Assante, but the VAR had seen the tackle. The ref took the red card from his back pocket. It was a cruel outcome for the midfielder, and Cercle had to play an hour with ten men in a crucial match. However, the Groen-Zwart continued to get forward and were rewarded shortly before half-time. Ugbo took a pass from Deman and scored to make it 1-0.

OHL had shown little before half-time and came back of the dressing room with much more intent. A shot from the substitute Schrijvers ended up coming off the post. Still, it was the inevitable Ugbo that put Cercle in a dine position: a shot from Velkovski was only half-cleared and the Cercle striker reacted fastest to make it 2-0. Leuven increased the pressure and tried to pin back Cercle. However, the defense held up well and on a rare corner, the captain Taravel all but sealed the result as he climbed highest nodded home to make it 3-0 against the run of play. Cercle successfully defended its lead tooth and nail and when Henry came close to a consolation in the closing stages of the match, the goalkeeper Didillon was there to make a great save.

Cercle Bruges: Didillon, Decostere (88' Vitinho), Bates, Taravel (92' Cassaert), Pavlovic, Velkovski, Vanhoutte, Hoggas, Van Der Bruggen (88' Corryn), Deman (88' Hotic) and Ugbo (8' Denkey).

Oud-Heverlee Leuven: Romo (46' Thamsatchanan), Jemelka (67' Tshimanga), Ngawa, Hubert (79' Eppiah), De Norre, Vlietinck (67' Vlietinck), Tamari, Asante (46' Writers), Sowah, Mercier and Henry.

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