Decision day in the top flight

It was the final day of play before the play-offs in the Belgian First Division and there was still a lot at stake. But which teams will be in this season's Play-offs I, II and III?

Charleroi makes it with a little help from Standard

It was a nail-biting afternoon for both Racing Genk and Sporting Charleroi. Anything other than defeat at Standard would have given Genk a place in the top six and Play-off I.

Meanwhile, Sporting Charleroi needed to beat Mouscron-Péruwelz and hope that bitter-rivals Standard de Liège would do the business against Genk.

An excellent De Sart Goal for Standard on 64 minutes and goals by Couilibaly (25 minutes) and Saglik (64 minutes) for Charleroi in their game against Mouscron mean that it is Sporting Charleroi rather than Racing Genk that has secured a place in Play-off I.

Elsewhere, KV Kortrijk could only manage a goalless draw against bottom club Lierse SK. The West Flemings finish 5th with 51 points from 30 games.

Standard finish 4th with 53 points. AA Gent’s first win away at Sporting Anderlecht for 15 years sees the Buffaloes finish second in the table equal on points and games won with Anderlecht, but with a superior goal difference.

Anderlecht opened the scoring through Mitrovic on 15 minutes, but second half goals from Foket (49 minutes, photo) and Raman (61 minutes) were enough to give AA Gent victory.

Both AA Gent and Sporting Anderlecht have 57 points from 30 games. This is four points less than Club Brugge (photo, above) that won 3-1 away at Westerlo.

This means that this season’s Play-off I teams are Club Brugge, AA Gent, Sporting Anderlecht, Standard de Liège, KV Kortrijk and Sporting Charleroi.

Mouscron make it despite losing at Charleroi

It was a nail-biting afternoon for Mouscron-Péruwelz. Thanks to Cercle Brugge’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of KV Mechelen the team from the border town are now in Play-off II.

Cercle had been two-up thanks to goals from Buyl. However, two goals from Wolski (89 and 90 +2 minutes) and a Veselinovic penalty in the first minute of stoppage time mean that Cercle must now play the best of 5 against Lierse SK for a place in the Second Division play-offs.

Elsewhere Sporting Lokeren v Waasland Beveren ended goalless. Like KV Mechelen both teams will play in Play-Off II. KV Oostende’s travelling fans were treated to no fewer than 5 goals in the West Flemish derby against Zulte Waregem.

Three of KVO’s goals came from Ruiz (photo) on 32 minutes 42 minutes and in the first minute of stoppage time. Berrier also scored for KV Oostende against his former club on 71 minutes. Zulte Waregem’s only goal of the game came from the younger brother of Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. Racing Genk, Sporting Lokeren, KV Mechelen, KV Oostende, Westerlo, Zulte Waregem, Mouscron-Péruwelz and Waasland-Beveren will all compete in Play-off II.

Play-off II is made up of 2 pools of 4 clubs. The winners of both pools play each other in the Play-off II final for a place in the preliminary round of the Europa League.

Best of five for Cercle and Lierse

The bottom and second to bottom teams compete in Play-off III. This is a series of (up to) 5 games.

The winner of Play-off III gets a chance to retain their First Division status by competing against three Second Division teams in the Second Division Play-offs.

As they finished second to bottom, Cercle will start Play-off III with a three-point advantage over Lierse SK. The Play-offs get under way in three weeks.

Next weekend sees the final of the Belgian Cup between Club Brugge and Sporting Anderlecht and our national team the Red Devils are in action against Cyprus in two weeks.