Ghent's 'zebra nightmare' continues

In football, defending champions AA Gent lost 1-3 to mid-table Sporting Charleroi to lose top spot after 15 rounds of play. Not AA Gent, but revelations KV Oostende were crowned autumn champions, just 1 point ahead of AA Gent, who suffered their very first league defeat of the season.

Charleroi, dubbed the Zebras as they are playing black and white stripes, are emerging as AA Gent's bogey opponent. Last season, Charleroi were the only team in the league that AA Gent failed to beat. In 4 confrontations, AA Gent drew thrice and lost once. It almost cost them the league title, but AA Gent managed to grab the title after all.

This season, AA Gent hadn't been beaten yet in any of the 14 league games so far. If they would beat Charleroi, the Buffaloes would be crowned autumn champions, a merely symbolic but prestigious 'title'. But Charleroi stunned AA Gent with two first-half counter-attack goals, and also with the 1-3 after the break after Ghent were slowly recovering from the double blow.

AA Gent, who defeated Valencia in the Champions League last Wednesday, had no answer to Charleroi striker Jérémy Perbet's double (photo). AA Gent failed to leapfrog KV Oostende back to first place due to the defeat. This means that revelations Oostende, who had won their match on Saturday, claimed the autumn title halfway the regular competition, unprecedented in the club's history.

Standard continue their recovery

In other action, Standard won the classic against Anderlecht, 1-0, to continue their recovery after a poor start to the season. Club Brugge beat KRC Genk 1-0, Genk's 4th consecutive defeat. The Limburgers are now out of the top-6.

KV Oostende have 31 points from 15 games, and are followed by AA Gent (30), Anderlecht (29), Club Brugge (28), Zulte Waregem (25) and Sint-Truiden (21). Genk are in 8th place with 20 points, Standard are 3 points further adrift on 11th spot.