The official website for European football

Play-off needed to prise Belgian leaders apart

Published: Saturday 16 May 2009, 23.25CET
The Belgian title will be decided by a two-legged play-off between RSC Anderlecht and R. Standard de Liège after the inseparable Eerste Klasse leaders both won on the last day of the season to prolong the suspense.
by Berend Scholten
Play-off needed to prise Belgian leaders apart
Standard (red) and Anderlecht will play-off for the title ©AFP
Published: Saturday 16 May 2009, 23.25CET

Play-off needed to prise Belgian leaders apart

The Belgian title will be decided by a two-legged play-off between RSC Anderlecht and R. Standard de Liège after the inseparable Eerste Klasse leaders both won on the last day of the season to prolong the suspense.

The Belgian title will be decided by a two-legged play-off between RSC Anderlecht and R. Standard de Liège after the inseparable leaders both won on the last day of the season, Standard goalkeeper Sinan Bolat saving a stoppage-time penalty to keep his team in contention.

Relative comfort
The two sides will meet in Brussels on 21 May and Liège three days later after both finished their Eerste Klasse campaigns with 77 points from 34 games. Anderlecht collected their last three of that total in relative comfort, Mbark Boussoufa heading the capital side into a 38th-minute lead at KRC Genk before Marcin Wasilewski gave them a two-goal cushion with another header on 56 minutes.

Penalty save
That would have been enough to install Anderlecht as champions in the event that defending titleholders Standard failed to prevail, but they just about emerged victorious from a hard-fought game at fourth-placed KAA Gent – the team coached by Michel Preud'homme, who led Standard to their first league crown in 25 years last term. Axel Witsel's penalty put the visitors in front on the cusp of half-time, but a late foul in the area by Oguchi Onyewu on Miloš Marić had Standard fans biting their nails, until Bolat saved from Bryan Ruiz. "This is a present for the club who gave me a chance," the goalkeeper said. "It was the finest moment in my career and hopefully I can maintain this level in the play-off matches."

Europa League
Although the destination of the title is still a mystery, what is certain is that Club Brugge KV will enter the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League next season, with Gent set for the second qualifying round of the same competition. At the bottom, AFC Tubize and RAEC Mons are the sides relegated automatically, while FCV Dender EH and KSV Roeselare enter the relegation play-offs with two second-tier sides.

Last updated: 17/05/09 15.00CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=bel/news/newsid=830445.html#play+needed+prise+belgian+leaders+apart

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.