European adventure over for Zulte Waregem

With one group stage game still left to play, last season’s Belgian Cup winners Zulte Waregem have been eliminated from the UEFA Europa League. Francky Dury’s men were beaten 3-1 by the French Ligue 1 side Nice in Nice on Thursday evening.

The result means that unless Sporting Anderlecht produce a miracle in the final Champions League game against Celtic in Glasgow in two weeks, no Belgian team will go into the New Year still in European. The last time that happened was in the 2004-2005 season.

Nice took an early lead through a Balotelli penalty that was awarded after the Zulte Waregem keeper Bostyn had brought the Italian down inside the box. Balotelli scored his and Nice’s 2nd goal of the evening on 32 minutes, making for a half time score of 2-0 to Nice.

Nice slowed things down in the second half allowing Zulte Waregem to take control of the game. However, it wasn’t until the 81st minute that they pulled one back through a Hamalainen free-kick.

This proved to be too little too late though and Tameze’s 87th minute goal for Nice put the match beyond Zulte Waregem’s reach. With one Group K game left Zulte Waregem are 3rd in their group with 4 points from 5 games. 2nd-placed Nice have 5 points more and as such are certain of qualification for the knock-out stage.


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