Cercle Bruges 24 April 2023, 17:41

Cercle Bruge win to reach the playoffs!

Cercle Bruge win to reach the playoffs!
After a battle for survival in the first half of the season, the Groen-Zwart snagged a last regular season victory this Sunday against Zulte Waregem (2-3), to seal eighth place in the Jupiler Pro League and a place in the European Playoffs.

They did it! Despite starting the day behind Charleroi, before the 34th and final round of the Belgian league, the players of Cercle Bruge sealed qualification for the playoffs at the end of the season. This was thanks to a final win obtained on Sunday away to Zulte Waregem in the last moments (2-3). The sister club of AS Monaco thus finished eighth in the Jupiler Pro League and can still dream of Europe.

A hot start, and Ueda is again decisive

Everything started well for the teammates of Radoslaw Majecki, who started in the Bruge goal, as did Boris Popović, a product of the Academy. You only had to wait six minutes to see the Belgian wingback, Hugo Siquet, open the scoring from the right side of the area (0-1). Shortly thereafter, it was Ayase Ueda, him again, who took advantage of a mix-up by the opposing defense to score his 18th goal in the Jupiler Pro League this season (0-2) from close range.

VAR to the rescue

In a fight for survival in the Belgian top flight, Zulte did not give up and took advantage on the hour to equalize in the space of nine minutes (59′, 68′). The hosts even thought they were ahead a few seconds later by scoring a new goal, but Alieu Fadera was flagged offside by the VAR. The Groen-Zwart then gradually regained control, and in the game’s final minutes they would seal the result.

Victory and a place in the playoffs as a bonus!

It was on a great run by Ayase Ueda, and even if Kevin Denkey first stumbled against the opposing goalkeeper, Thibo Somers followed his effort up to put Cercle ahead (2-3, 83′)! Job done, as Cercle had their 13th victory of the season, finishing eighth in the table, ahead of Charleroi, and earning a place in the European playoffs.

Miron Muslic’s men can thus still dream of a European place, if they can succeed in the mini-league among the teams ranked 5 to 8 and a possible play-off duel with fourth place. It was a historic qualification for the Bruges side, who had to battle against relegation in the first part of the season. Bravo! 🟢⚫

Rise. Risk. Repeat.