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Gent battle back at home after Millàn's opener (2-1)

On matchday 9 in the Jupiler Pro League, Cercle headed to the Ghelamco Arena to face KAA Gent, with Álex Millàn opening the score from the penalty spot in the 1st half. After the break, Gent turned the tables with goals from De Sart and Lemajic.

Both coaches had started the match with elevens playing together for the first time; for the Groen-Zwart there was a start for Kanouté for the first time, while Corryn and Denkey had a place as well, with Velkovsky and Deman on the bench.

The Ghelamco Arena was not completely full for the game, which was played at the same time as the World Cycling Championships. The players of Cercle did not let this bother them, however, as they started the match well. Millan sent in a corner just after the 7 minute mark and the ball came to Utkus, whose header hit the inside of the post. Bolat was caught off guard at first, but was able to pick up the ball easily.

Gent then woke up, taking control of the match. On fifteen minutes, the hosts also had their first corner. The ball landed right at Bayo's feet, but his effort caromed off the crossbar. Two minutes, a free kick by Operi had to be punched clear by Didillon.

The game was then fought for in midfield until 7 minutes before half-time. Da Silva Lopes drove to the corner and then saw his first-time cross cleared back to him. The Portuguese cut into the box and was then fouled, with referee Dierick pointing quickly to the spot. Millàn was the taker on the day, and the Spanish forward did not fail in this task. He calmly stroked his penalty kick home and Cercle went into the break leading 0-1.

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Vanhaezebrouck brought Bezus on for Mboyo after the break, but play mainly continued to take place in midfield. Just before the hour there was a bit of good play from Vitinho on the right. The Brazilian drove in a  low cross just in front of goal, but Denkey was unable to finish, placing his shot wide from close range.

Gent then would bring on 3 players with Owusu, Malede and Lemajic -- a move that soon paid off. The Groen-Zwart were unable to clear a long ball on the edge of the box, and De Sart pounced, scoring an equalizer with a hard shot into the top corner.

Spurred on by their home crowd, the Buffalos pushed on, but Cercle managed to quell the storm again.

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The Groen-Zwart stayed in the match, but with fifteen minutes to play, Malede was able to beat Chakvetadze on the left flank. The Ghent midfielder sent the ball goalward, where Lemajic was given too much space at the back post, slotting a header past Didillon.

In the 78th minute, Vanderhaeghe brought on Matondo, Deman and Van der Bruggen for Vanhoutte, Millàn and Kanouté. That paid off almost immediately, as Denkey would launch Deman with a long ball. Bolat, though, was quick to the danger and tipped the substitute striker's attempt behind for a corner.

Cercle kept battling, setting up an all-out assault on the hosts' goal in search of an equalizer. Gent strained under the pressure, but it held on to its lead.

Cercle: Didillon - Corryn (Velkovski 85'), Miangue, Daland, Utkus (Hotic 85'), Vitinho - Kanouté (Van der Bruggen 78'), Da Silva Lopes, Vanhoutte (Matondo 78') - Millàn (Deman 78') and Denkey.

Ghent: Bolat, Opéri (Malede 60'), Ngadeu, Mboyo (Bezus 46'), Chakvetadze (Tissoudali 78'), De Sart, Castro-Montes, Hanche-Olsen, Kums (Owusu 60'), Bayo (Lemajic 60') and Godeau.

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