Cercle Brugge did not give in on the opening match day Westerlo seems to want to follow the example of Union and co and to honor the tradition that the newcomer from 1B also does well at a higher level. With excellent football, Westerlo dominated the entire time on Sunday evening when they returned to 1A. Cercle, which soon had to continue with 10 men after the exclusion of Popovic, missed the start. A goal from Daci and another from Vetokele in added time were enough to revive the good old times in ‘t Kuipje.
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Westerlo back at the highest level and that caused a lot of enthusiasm in the Kuipke, often hell for the top teams in the distant past. A DJ put everyone in the right mood before the match. Warming up was not necessary because by 9 p.m. it was still over 28 degrees. Then start pressing fully like Dominik Thalhammer drilled it at Cercle. But the people of Bruges completed part of the preparation in Nice and Monaco and are used to that. However, they had a hard time getting into their game. Westerlo, with ex-Cercle striker Lyle Foster rather surprisingly on the bench, had analyzed the green-black system well. Even the stationary phases, although a feared weapon of Cercle, presented no danger.
What’s more, Westerlo dominated, but without any obvious chances. So plenty of time for the relatively large head of Cercle who traveled along to protest with a banner against CEO Ben Lambrecht and his fiercely denounced new Cercle logo. As if that wasn’t enough, things also went wrong on the field. Central defender Popovic had been booked early and made a second mistake on Van Eenoo. Wesli De Cremer again drew yellow so that Cercle had to continue with ten men for an hour.
Kyan Vaesen took advantage of the space but decided on Warleson. Thalhammer stepped in and sacrificed his not really in-match striker Denkey for the highly advanced Lithuanian Utkus. But it didn’t help much, Westerlo kept threatening and rewarded himself at a perfect moment shortly before half-time. Warleson first saved Daci’s attempt, but the North Macedonian’s rebound disappeared into the roof of the goal.
Vetokele brengt sludning
After the break, Westerlo looked for the second goal and Maxim De Cuyper and Thomas Van den Keybus proved to be the driving forces. Dierickx aimed such an assist from Van den Keybus just wide of the post and Warleson took his louier out of the top corner. The Brazilian goalkeeper was hit last week by the arrival of the Polish international Majecki from mother club Monaco, but showed that he wants to fight for his place. He kept Vaesen from the 2-0, who appeared in front of him, although the son of ex-goalkeeper Nico could have done more with this opportunity. Westerlo kept spilling with the many chances but Cercle lacked sharpness and panache. So it remained 1-0, Foster still seemed to get his money’s worth against his ex-team, but his goal was disallowed for offside. In the final phase, however, another ex-Cercle player came on the field. Igor Vetekole did score and provided redemption with the redeeming goal.