Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge share the spoils
Club Brugge have not been able to win the city derby. Wesley and Schrijvers gave the blue and black the lead twice, but an Amrabat own goal and Cardona's goal let the game finish on a tie. Club are already eleven points behind league leaders Genk.
Leko was fordced to make one change due to Emmanuel Dennis' one-match ban. Clinton Mata returned to the starting XI and Krépin Diatta moved to the left-hand side. Cercle started the game lively, but it only took a few minutes before Club Brugge bossed the game. The first real change immediately resulted in a goal, but Schrijvers' goal was disallowed for an earlier foul by Denswil
But that first goal on the score board didn't take long. Ten minutes into the game Diatta picked out Wesley in front of goal and the Brazilian tapped the ball home with a cheecky back heel. Shortly after Diatta and Schrijvers' efforts were blocked by the Cercle defence. Club were in control but nevertheless conceded the equalizer on the half-hour mark. Cardona whipped in the ball in front of goal and Amrabat slid it in past his own goalkeeper. Unlucky.
Diatta was a scourge for the home defence, but Schrijvers failed to convert a pass from the Senegalese winger on two occassions. Cercle's only tactic was to be dangerous on the break. One one occassion Denswil had to be quick to tackle a low cross out of danger. Just before heading into the dressing room Club took the lead again after a great attacking move. Vanaken found Vormer with a searching ball and the Dutchman passed the ball to Schrijvers who only had to tap in.
After the break Club remained the better side. The tempo was low, but the blue and black were close to scoring a third goal. Schrijvers just couldn't reach Mata's cross and Nardi reacted well on an effort by Wesley. There was a strong penalty appearl when Lusamba brought down Vormer inside the box, but referee Visser let play continue.
Out of nowhere, the hosts equalized twenty minutes into the second half. Bruno found Cardona and the Frenchman beat goalkeeper Horvath with a smart finis to make it 2-2. Cardona was in an offiside position when he collected the ball, but Visser and the VAR let the goal stand. A few minutes later Gakpé's effort for Cercle sailed over the crossbar, while Nardi had to do well on Denswil's free-kick.
In the final minutes of the match Club had plenty of opportunities to seal the deal. Lusamba cleared Openda's cross before Vanaken could score and Nardi needed a top-drawer save to tip away Vormer's low shot. A few minutes later the Cercle goalie was equal to Rits' shot and in stoppage time Openda fired just wide. Cercle's Omolo was booked a second time, but that didn't change the score anymore.
Because of this draw Club are already eleven points behind league leaders Racing Genk.
Jupiler Pro League – Fixture 25
Attendance: 12.000 – Jan Breydelstadion
Referee: Lawrence Visser
Cercle Brugge: Paul Nardi – Issa Marega, Jérémy Taravel, Johanna Omolo - Naomichi Ueda (61’ Kylian Hazard), Xavier Mercier, Serge Gakpé (85’ Isaac Koné), Arnaud Lusamba, Yoann Etienne – Gianni Bruno, Irvin Cardona (75’ Dylan De Belder). Coach: Laurent Guyot.
Club Brugge: Ethan Horvath – Sofyan Amrabat (85’ Kaveh Rezaei), Brandon Mechele, Stefano Denswil – Clinton Mata (72’ Dion Cools), Ruud Vormer, Mats Rits, Hans Vanaken, Krépin Diatta – Siebe Schrijvers, Wesley Moraes (78’ Loïs Openda). Bench: Karlo Letica, Benoît Poulain, Marvelous Nakamba en Saulo Decarli. Coach: Ivan Leko.
Yellow cards: Vanaken, Rits, Omolo, Denswil, Koné, Taravel, Vormer.
Red cards: 93’ Omolo (2x yellow).
Goals: 12’ Wesley (0-1), 27’ Amrabat (own goal, 1-1), 40’ Schrijvers (1-2), 65’ Cardona (2-2).
Report - Steven Floin