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Wins for AA Gent and Club Brugge in the final Play-off I games of the season

Sunday evening saw the last matches of the season played in Play-off I of the Belgian Division. With KRC Genk already having taken their fourth league title on Thursday and Club Brugge already having assured themselves of second place the spotlight was on who would finish 3rd and which team would finish fourth and have to take on the winner of Play-off II for a place in the qualifying round of the Europa League. The battle between the teams that were 5th and 6th was made more interesting by the fact that if the cup winners KV Mechelen are found guilty of match fixing they will be disqualify from competing in European competition and the team that is 5th would then represent Belgium in the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa League.

The new League Champions Racing Genk’s match against Standard ended in a goalless draw. However, the Genk fans still had something to celebrate and celebrate they did.

They were invited onto the pitch after the game and surrounded their heroes as they lifted (a replica) of the Belgian League Champions Cup. The scenes from the Crystal Arena on Sunday night reminded you of why football is sometimes called the beautiful.

Standard fans too will be pleased with the fact that their teams third place mean that they have qualified directly for the Europa League. KRC Genk finish the season 1st with 52 points. 40 points was enough to earn Standard de Liège 3rd place.

VKA

An exciting match with plenty of goals

While there were no goals in Genk the same can’t be said of the match between Club Brugge and Royal Antwerp FC. In what was the Club Brugge coach Ivan Leko’s last game in charge Loïs Openda opened the scoring for the West Flemings on 4 minutes.

However, Antwerp were not going to go quietly and two goals early in the second half from Baby (on 53 minutes) and Mbokani (on 57 minutes) saw them go 1-2 up. A Jelle Vossen penalty kick on 80 minutes levelled the score. Club Brugge’s winning goal came from Openda on 89 minutes.

Club Brugge finish the season with 50 points, enough for 2nd place in the league and a place in the qualifying stage of next season’s Champions League. 4th-placed Royal Antwerp FC must take on the winner of Play-off II for a place in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Disastrous season ends in defeat for RSC Anderlecht

The 2018-2019 season has been a historic one for what still is Belgium’s most successful football club. For the first time in 56 years the 34-times Belgian league champions have failed to qualify for European competition.

Their last lifeline, qualification for the qualifying stage of the Europa League if KV Mechelen are disqualified, was thrown away against an AA Gent side that seemed determined to give their fans something to cheer about on the last day of the season. In a match that ended 2-1 to AA Gent, Kvilitaia opened the scoring for the Buffaloes on 2 minutes. Anderlecht equalised through Bolasie on 73 minutes.

A Jonathan David goal 4 minutes later was enough to dash Anderlecht’s hopes. AA Gent finish the season 5th with 35 points. Anderlecht finish 6th with 32 points.