Minute’s silence before all games

The penultimate day’s play before the play-offs in Belgian football’s First Division got under way with a minute’s silences for the twenty-eight victims of tragic bus accident in Switzerland on Tuesday. There was still all to play for with no fewer than 5 teams in with a chance of taking one of the three remaining places in play-off I.

Top of the bill on Sunday was the Bruges derby. With two games left, second-placed Club Brugge was already certain of a place in play-off I.

However, Cercle needed a win to be sure of remaining into the top 6. The match was well-balanced early on with chances at both ends.

Cercle took the lead on 27 minutes through a blinding Van Eenoo free-kick (photo, in green). Cercle carried on playing with confidence.

However this took a dent when Akpala equalised for Club on 39 minutes. The first half ended one-all.

The second half couldn’t have started worse for Cercle with Jasjtsjoek being sent off just three minutes in.

Things went from bad to worse for the Association when Akpala scored his second goal of the match to put Club Brugge 2-1 up.

The Cercle Coach Bob Peeters wasn’t going to take things lying down and he brought in goal-getter Rudy to strengthen his team’s attack.

However, with a man extra, Club Brugge was never in any danger of not taking all three points from the derby.

Club Brugge remains second with 58 points from 29 games. Cercle is 5th on 46 points.

Standard certain of play-off I

A 4-0 victory at home against OH Leuven was enough to make Standard de Liège certain of a place in play-off I of the Belgian First Division.

Standard was dominant from the outset and took the lead on 8 minutes through Tchité (photo).

As elsewhere, a minute’s applause was observed in the 28th minute of the game as a mark of respect for those killed in Tuesday’s bus disaster.

Standard lost Cyriac through injury on 40 minutes. The second half was all Standard with Jelle Van Damme putting them 2-0 up three minutes in.

Felipe made it 3-0 on 64 minutes with Van Damme putting the final nail in OHL’s coffin on 68 minutes.

Standard is now 4th with 48 points from 29 games. OH Leuven is 14th with 26 points.

Canaries hold Anderlecht to draw

It was top against next-to-bottom at Sint-Truiden on Sunday afternoon. Nevertheless, the league-leaders Sporting Anderlecht had anything but an easy ride.

Sint-Truiden took the lead on 7 minutes through a Reza penalty (photo). Biglia put Andelecht level on the half hour and the first half ended 1-1.

Sint-Truiden took the lead again on 71 minutes through Euvrard and the Canaries seemed to be heading towards the football stunt of the weekend.

However, it was not to be and Kabangu equalised for the visitors in the third minute of injury time to make the final score 2-2.

Sint-Truiden is now bottom with 19 points from 29 games. Anderlecht is now 6 points clear at the top with 64 points.

Genk beaten at Westerlo

Last season’s champions Racing Genk will have to wait until the last day of the regular season to be certain of a place in play-off I after a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Westerlo.

Westerlo started the day bottom of the league and already knew that they were doomed to play the best of five against Sint-Truiden for a place in the Second Division play offs.

Westerlo got off to a fantastic start with goals from De Peter (photo) on 3 minutes, Reynaldo on 5 minutes and Goor on 15 minutes.

Barda pulled one back for Genk on 39 minutes to make the half time score 3-1 in Westerlo’s favour.

Genk scored a second goal on 25 minutes. The match ended 3-2 to Westerlo.

Westerlo is second to bottom with 20 points from 29 games. Racing Genk is 6th with 43 points.

Gent dent Kortrijk’s hopes

KV Kortrijk’s hopes of a play-off I place have taken a dent after they lost 3-1 away at AA Gent.

Gent took the lead on 17 minutes through Smolders. Coulibaly made it 2-0 early in the second half. Veselinovic pulled one back for KV Kortrijk 10 minutes from time.

However, it was too little, too late and Ljubijankic made it 3-1 to AA Gent in the 2nd minute of injury time.

AA Gent remains 3rd with 56 points from 29 games. KV Kortrijk is 7th on 43 points.

All square in Beerschot and in Lier

The matche between Beerschot AC and Sporting Lokeren ended in a two-all draw.

This leaves Lokeren still in with a small chance of reaching play-off I.

The match between SK Lierse and RAEC Mons ended one-all.

Elsewhere, Zulte Waregem’s recent good form continued with a 2-0 home win against KV Mechelen.

Zulte Waregem’s goals came from Naessens on 21 minutes and Hamalainen.