Anderlecht left with a serious hangover

In football, defending champions Anderlecht failed to move past bottom-of-the-table KV Mechelen. On a dull and cold Sunday afternoon, Anderlecht had the chance to win a poor game after all, but newly-arrived Ryota Morioka missed a penalty kick in the final stage of the match.

Things didn't start too bad for Anderlecht as a header by Silvère Ganvoula gave them an early lead. But halfway through the first half KVM were enjoying a surprise lead, after a Hassane Bandé effort and an own-goal by Anderlecht defender Uros Spajic. Bandé's goal was Mechelen's first in 10 hours and 5 minutes of football.

Anderlecht kept struggling, but Ganvoula equalised. KVM had occasions to score as well, but missed and almost got punished for it in the end. However, Morioka missed the penalty (photo). The draw brings third-placed Anderlecht's tally to 46 points, but leaders Club Brugge or second-placed Charleroi can widen the gap as they play against one another on Sunday evening.

The draw keeps KV Mechelen just two points behind Eupen, one week before they meet in a direct clash to avoid relegation, in Mechelen.

Tense battle for 6th place

In other action, fourth-placed AA Gent were held to a draw by KAS Eupen, the team of former star midfielder Claude Makelele. Eupen kept many players behind the ball but climbed ahead anyway. AA Gent found it hard to create chances but managed to equalise 5 minutes from time.

The battle for 6th place and the final play-off 1 ticket will be a tight and tense one. KRC Genk are in pole-position after beating Mouscron 0-1. Just one point behind 6th-placed Genk, four teams are stampeding to overtake them: Standard (0-3 win at Lokeren), Waasland-Beveren (1-2 at Antwerp FC) and KV Kortrijk and Sint-Truiden. KV Kortrijk, the team of new coach Glen Boeck, kept the momentum by winning at Sint-Truiden, a Jérémy Perbet double.