Cercle Brugge and Zulte Waregem drew 1-1 on Saturday evening. Cercle started furiously and more than deservedly took the lead after a goal by Ueda, but with a low slide, Rommens quickly equalized. After that, the game watered down and neither team was able to finally pull the sheet.
Cercle Brugge was often believed to be a difficult opponent to fight in recent weeks, but with only four points from the first five games, the balance looked rather thin for a team that carefully aspired to a place in the top 8 for the season. However, Thalhammer’s troops clearly intended to boost that point total against Zulte Waregem, who had also only collected four points. The association started the party furiously and outflanked Essevee on all fronts. After ten minutes, it had even created several giant chances.
For example, Ueda headed the post after two minutes after a measured cross by Hotic and Somers also aimed against the same stake less than a minute later. In a third attempt, Bossut was in the way again on the one hand, Somers’ effort and Ueda’s rebound on the other. Zulte Waregem couldn’t get a foothold in the opening phase and had to wait patiently as Cercle finally managed to score on a fourth attempt. Denkey made good use of his body on a throw-in and put back excellently to Ueda, after which the Japanese was able to break the Bruges ban with a dry place ball. A lead is no more deserved.
Rommens immediately counters
Anyone who thought that the association would steam through after the 1-0 and deepen the lead against an impotent Zulte Waregem, was disappointed, however, because at the first opportunity for the visitors, the signs were suddenly equal. Rommens got rid of some Cercle defenders well on the edge of the sixteen and pushed the equalizer just far enough out of Majecki’s reach. Everything to redo for Cercle.
The fading was gone, but the home team continued to dominate. The equalizer, however, had given Essevee some oxygen. It could have been a little better to keep the ball in the team. Still, the field dominance and the better opportunities remained for Cercle. However, it had to wait until the second half for another chance to be played. Shortly after the break, Ueda was unable to take a pass-through ball well enough, so his attempt could not alarm Bossut. The Japanese remained the most dangerous man at Cercle. He illustrated that once again on the hour: Miroshi could just nod his shot over the target.
Although the match was more and more balanced after that, Leye saw that his team was not able to really impose its will. He wanted to remedy that shortcoming with Sangeré’s input. Pale Ramirez was the kid of the bill. Thalhammer responded with the input of newcomer Abu Francis, who came over from Denmark’s Nordsjælland just this week. Neither of the two substitutions produced the desired shock effect, but it was Zulte Waregem that now slightly took the upper hand. Especially with Fadera they had a hard time at Cercle. The Gambian tried to change the course on his own, but unfortunately for the visitors he had to be injured ten minutes before the end. Without him, Zulte Waregem didn’t prepare anything afterwards. The same could be said of Cercle, however, because the club had completely collapsed after a strong first half.
Still, it came close to victory in the final phase. Hotic sent another ball into the box and it ended up in front of Denkey’s feet. His attempt was saved by Tambedou and when substitute Heitor resumed, Bossut boxed the ball away. It turned out to be the last convulsion of the association and Zulte Waregem could not change the score anymore. In this way, each team can ultimately add one point and neither of them actually gains much from that.
Church Bruges: Majecki; Decostere (84′ Heitor), Popovic, Daland, Torres, Lopes, Van der Bruggen, Ueda (84′ Wilke); Hotic, Denkey, Somers (66′ Francis).
Zulte Waregem: Bossut; Tsouka (90′ Derijck), Tambedou, Lopez, Drambaiev; Sissako, Rommens, Miroshi; Ramirez (65′ Sangaré), Vossen (90′ Braem), Fadera (81′ Ciranni).
Goals: 11′ Ueda (Denkey) 1-0, 16′ Rommens (Fadera) 1-1.
Yellow cards: 50′ Popovic (error), 52′ Rommens (error).
Red cards: no.
Referee: Bram Van Driessche.