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A valiant Groen-Zwart fall in Oostende

On the 11th match day of the Jupiler Pro League, Cercle were second bottom before heading to the coast to take on Oostende. Groen-Zwart played a dogged match and took the lead through Somers. KVO were on the ropes, but 2 moments turned the result, as Gueye and Amade sealed the points at home for the Kustboys.

Yves Vanderhaeghe had made some striking changes to his team. Sousa was given his debut at the back. The Brazilian defender was finally free from injury and was given the start over Popovic. In attack, the duo of Millàn and Somers were tasked to score goals and in midfield Van der Bruggen replaced the injured Kanouté.

Cercle got off to a good start and played well against the tenth-placed side in the Jupiler Pro League. The high pressure from Groen-Zwart, under the impulse of the hard-working Somers, tested the Oostende defence. Real chances had to wait until the 20th minute, though, as Utkus was able to play out from the back, finding Vanhoutte who had the 0-1 at hand, but came up short against Fortes.

At the break, Blessin subbed out Rocha for Tanghe. The Ostend coach moved to a 4-4-2 for a 5-3-2 after the break. However, this tactical shift did not yield much. Cercle grew into the match more and more. Millàn was flagged offside just before the hour, but in the 67th minute, the Spaniard delivered a measured assist for Somers, who took on a pass from Van der Bruggen, and Hubert was beaten with a fine effort. The goal gave the Groen-Zwart even more courage and they tried to build on their lead but Somers and Millàn were unable to do as much. Vanderhaeghe brought on Deman and Decostere  with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

Cercle Brugge KSV

Trying to equalize, KVO earned a corner kick. After a header against the crossbar, the Groen-Zwart couldn't clear the ball completely. Didillon saved the rebound, but after a quick throw-in D'Arpino was able to find Gueye and the striker nodded home an equalizer.

A series of substitutions followed and both teams continued to press for a win, and it was KVO that found the goal in added time. A free kick was headed on in front of goal, again at the far post. The ball came to Amade, who finished from close range to lead the home team to a win. It was thus a bitter loss for Cercle who had generally been the better team, but without profiting from their play.

Cercle: Didillon, Utkus, Sousa, Daland, Corryn (Waldo 82'), Vitinho (Decostere 76'), Van der Bruggen, Da Silva Lopes, Vanhoutte (Hotic 63'), Millàn (Matondo 82') and Somers (Deman 76')

Ostend: Hubert, Ndicka (Patoulidis 86'), Fortes, Jäkel, Capon, Bätzner (Koziello 79'), Amade, D'Arpino, Rocha (Tanghe 46'), Gueye and Ambrose (Kvasina 79')

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Somers opens the scoring, but Mechelen win in extra time

In the Round of 16 of the Croky Cup, our Groen-Zwart were away to KV Mechelen. At AFAS Stadium, Somers had given us the lead before half-time. Despite a strong display from Warleson, Malinois equalized just after the hour. The match went to extra time and Storm provided the match winner for the Kakkers with a goal deep in the second half of extra time.

Cercle started the match with several changes, playing a 4-4-2 formation under Muslic and Dewulf. It was therefore a bit of a wait to see how this much-changed side would connect with each other.

Things would work out well in that regard, although Mechelen were clearly keen to change things up after having lost the league match. Both teams kept each other in check for a long time, with only half chances for both sides. After 35 minutes, though, Thibo Somers would find the opening goal. Hotic launched a free kick towards the goal, and Thoelen came off his line but did not reach the ball, which wasn't cleared from the box. After a few scuffed attempts to clear the ball, it fell to the Cercle striker, who did not hesitate to give the Groen-Zwart the lead.

Mechelen immediately tried to respond, but were denied by a strong performance from goalkeeper Warleson. After the break, the Malinois increased the pressure even further, and the Groen-Zwart were forced to sit deeper under the pressure from Mechelen, but remained calm in defense as they waited to spring a rare counter-attack.

Cercle would continue to count on a strong Warleson who dived at Cuypers' feet to clear a cross. After a foul, it was the end of the match for the young striker from Mechelen, and the vastly experienced De Camargo replaced him. The former Belgian international was on the pitch then, when Schoofs fired a powerful shot from distance. Warleson could only tip the ball onto the post and it came back into play, to the feet of the substitute and he brought the hosts level.

For a moment, Mechelen seemed ready to push on for a winner, but the Groen-Zwart restored the balance and the match went to extra time. The further half hour looked to be for nothing, as both teams were clearly not at their best, until Nikola Storm tried a bit of skill two minutes before the final whistle. Cutting inside from just outside the area and then beating his marker, his shot was fired hard into the far corner. With this late goal, the Malinois narrowly avoided a penalty shootout and the cup campaign for our Groen-Zwart is now over, despite a creditable performance.

Cercle: Warleson, Vitinho (Velkovski 96'), Sousa, Daland, Decostere, Waldo (Deman 39', Ackx 110'), Kanouté, Vanhoutte (Cassaert 69'), Hotic (Lopes Da Silva 69'), Millàn and Somers (Sampers 91')

Mechelen: Thoelen, Bateau, Walsh (Swers 81'), Storm (Kaya 119'), Cuypers (De Camargo 62'), Schoofs, Oum Gouet, Van Hoorenbeeck, Mrabti (Engvall 106'), Vanlerberghe (Shved 43') and Vinicius Souza

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One of the league's form teams, KV Mechelen came into this match fourth in the standings, paying a visit to Bruges on matchday 16 in the Jupiler Pro League. The Groen-Zwart were looking for a goal from the off and saw Utkus open the scoring on a corner. Storm surprised the home team by equalizing just before half time, but in the second half Cercle came into their own, as Hotic gave Cercle the lead again from the spot. The Bosnian then provided a nice assist for Rabbi Matondo to make it 3-1. Finally, the first home win of the season was in the books.

Coach Yves Vanderhaeghe had made three changes, with Utkus, Decostere and Velkovski on after the loss against Charleroi. In attack, Deman was preferred to Millàn.

The Groen-Zwart started the game with good intentions. Utkus got on the end of a free kick by Van der Bruggen, but his header went just wide of the second post, so Coucke didn't have to make a save. On the quarter hour, Matondo was able to turn past Walsh and move upfield. His pass to Somers was good and he turned it low across goal from the left, looking Deman to turn the ball home. However, Van Hoorenbeeck just managed to get a foot in, and the attempt went out for a corner. Moments later, Cercle's strikers would set each other up again. Deman cut in from the right and found Somers who turned his man and shot, but his attempt also missed Coucke's goal by a hair's breadth.

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Daland's goal comes too late

Charleroi had no mercy on Cercle in the initial phase and immediately took the lead via Morioka and Bessilé. Cercle showed resilience, but were only able to do so after the break, thanks to
some good attacking moves that really packed a punch. Charleroi were pushed back, but not for the first time this season, Cercle lacked a clinical touch. They would pull a ball back late on via Daland, but it came too late to score another, or to save a point.

After a great performance away to Racing Genk, Yves Vanderhaeghe obviously saw no reasons
to change his starting eleven. However, the contrast with the match at Genk was unexpectedly stark
in the beginning and the visitors immediately punished Cercle's passive start. After four minutes,
Morioka easily dribbled into the box, beating Didillon with a low shot. Already in the lead, in the 8th minute Charleroi made it 0-2: after a deflected free kick the ball landed in front of the goal and there
Knezevic and Bessilé combined easily. Didillon again had no chance on the shot and Charleroi were now playing their football firmly in control.

Cercle had a few chance through individual play, but Charleroi kept the Groen-Zwart at bay without any problems. Indeed, through Zorgane, the Carolos were even close to, just before half-time, a
third goal.

With a double change (Deman and Velkovsky for Millàn and Miangue) and a different mentality
Cercle started the chase, beginning the second half in good spirits. Hotic, in the
opening minute of the half, would miss a huge opportunity. Deman tried as well, with a long shot.
Hotic fired a free kick over and wide before being subbed off for Denkey. The Togolese striker almost made a difference immediately, with a long shot and then came close to a goal with two headers. Koffi made a nice save on the first header and saw the second flash centimeters wide, while in between, Gholizadeh hit the post on a rare counterattack.

Attempts by Rubio and Deman lacked conviction and it took (too) long for a goal to come. Daland nodded home in the 89th minute, but in stoppage time, Cercle's football was too chaotic to be able to get any more from their opponents. Cercle continues to look for a first home win of the season, and will soon have another chance, when KV Mechelen comes to visit next week.

Cercle: Didillon, Vitinho, Daland, Sousa, Miangue (Velkovski 46'), Van Der Bruggen (Utkus 73'), Lopes Da Silva, Hotic (Denkey 63'), Matondo (Waldo 73'), Millàn (Deman 46') and Somers

Charleroi: Koffi, Tchatchoua (Benchaib 75'), Andreou, Knezevic, Bessilé, Kayembe,
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For Cercle, Kanouté and Waldo Rubio came back from injury and the duo gained the necessary playing time. Youngster Christiaan Ravych was also added to the squad. Since coach Yves Vanderhaeghe is still in quarantine, the match was led by the coaching duo of De Wulf and Muslic, just as had been the case against Genk.

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