A great start for Club

Nine days after the final game in the league stage of Belgium’s first division football competition, the play-offs got under way on Friday evening with the Play-off I match between Club Brugge and KRC Genk.

Club Brugge couldn’t have wished for a better start to their Play-off I campaign.

A 2-0 win at home against KRC Genk sees the West Flemings draw level on points with the league-leaders Sporting Anderlecht.

Both teams gave it their all in the first half, although it was Club Brugge that dominated the midfield. Nevertheless, Genk looked dangerous from the few chances that they had.

Club Brugge’s first goal of the evening came from a set-piece, Vazquez’s (top photo) free-kick curling round the Genk wall and into goal on 23 minutes.

There was drama later in the half when the Genk keeper Logan Bailly (small photo) was stretchered off with concussion after a collision with Refaelov.

The second half saw Club Brugge widen their lead through Akpala and it was over and out KRC Genk.

The play-offs

For the past three seasons a system of play-offs has been in place for teams competing in the Belgian First Division.

The teams that finish in the top 6 after the 30-game league stage compete in Play-off I. To make it more exciting, the number of points they amassed in the league stage is halved.

This season’s champions will qualify automatically for next season’s Champions League, while the second-placed team will have to compete in the preliminary round of the competition.

The third-placed team gains a place in the preliminary round of the Europa League.

The eight teams that ended seventh to fourteenth compete in two groups of four in Play-off II, the winners of each group will compete in the Play-off II final for a place in the preliminary round of next season’s Europa League.

The last and last-but-one team play the best of five for the chance to retain their first division status by competing against three Second Division teams in the Second Division play-offs.

The next to bottom club starts with a three-point advantage and plays three of the five games at home.