Club Bruges set a record in the Europa League

In football, both Club Bruges and RC Genk advanced to the Europa League group phase. Cup winners Sporting Lokeren were ousted. Bruges set a humble record as they qualified for the 7th time since the Europa League was created in 2004.
Striker Carlos Bacca (central) has just made it 4-1 for Bruges.

Bruges had no problems disposing of the Hungarian champions Debrecen. They had already won the first leg 0-3 in Hungary and took the return leg 4-1 in Jan Breydel yesterday.

The result means that Bruges qualified for a record 7th time for the Europa League group phase. Since it was created in 2004, Bruges only missed the Europa League group phase twice: in 2007, they failed to qualify under coach Jacky Mathijssen, while in 2005 they made it into the Champions League group phase instead. No team did better, but the strongest teams mostly made it into the Champions League of course.

KRC Genk downed Luzern of Switzerland 2-0 in Limburg, wiping out the 2-1 loss in Luzern last week. There are talks of Genk striker Christian Benteke moving to Aston Villa but a deal has not been reached yet.

Cup winners Lokeren lost 1-0 in Plzen, in the Czech Republic, after having won the first leg 2-1 last week. The result allowed the Czechs to advance on away goals.

Club Bruges bump into Newcastle

Today, the draw was made for the group phase. Club Bruges was drawn in group D with Girondins de Bordeaux (France), Newcastle United (England) and Maritimo Funchal (Portugal).

RC Genk will face Sporting Clube de Portugal, FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland) and Videoton (Hungary) that ousted AA Gent at an earlier stage.