By Berend Scholten
Club Brugge KV claimed their 13th Belgian First Division title with a 2-2 draw against second-placed RSC Anderlecht in the penultimate round of fixtures.
Club Brugge knew they would guarantee a second championship under the guidance of coach Trond Sollied if they avoided defeat at Jan Breydelstadion, and they made the perfect start in the first minute when Nastja Ceh broke the deadlock. Anderlecht replied on 36 minutes when Hannu Tihinen headed in from the rebound after a Nenad Jestrovic shot hit the crossbar, but two minutes later it was Ceh who restored Brugge's lead when his cross flew into the net after a deflection off Vincent Kompany and a misjudgement by goalkeeper Daniel Zitka.
The visitors looked a better side in the second-half and were rewarded six minutes after the restart when Jestrovic headed an equaliser. But a winning goal proved elusive as Club Brugge maintained their six-point lead at the summit to seal the title. Anderlecht did receive some consolation, however, as the point proved sufficient to guarantee a UEFA Champions League second round place.
UEFA Cup race
Third place, which earns a UEFA Cup spot, will be decided on the final weekend of the season. Current occupants, R. Standard de Liège secured a 3-0 win against KAA Gent with two goals from Cedric Roussel and a Sergio Conceiçao penalty. Dominique D'onofrio’s side remain two points clear of KRC Genk, who overcame R.Charleroi SC 2-0 to move clear of their opponents in fourth place and end their European aspirations, courtesy of goals from Nenad Stojanovic and Tom Soetaers in the final 30 minutes.
At the bottom, the relegation places were decided after KV Oostende and RAEC Mons were both defeated 2-0 to leave them four points adrift of safety with just one game remaining. Two goals from RAA Louviéroise's Wagner Eloi confirmed Oostende's relegation, and Mons will join them after Marcin Zewlakow scored twice for R. Excelsoir Mouscron to help preserve their top-flight status.
Elsewhere, Belgian Cup finalists and UEFA Cup qualifiers KFC Germinal Beerschot defeated K. Sint Truidense VV 3-1, while K. Lierse SK and FC Molenbeek Brussels won against KSC Lokeren OV and KSV Cercle Brugge, respectively. KVC Westerlo’s encounter with KSK Beveren ended in a 1-1 draw.
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