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Standard end 18-year Belgian Cup wait

Denied the league title on the final day of the season by KRC Genk, R. Standard de Liège made amends by overcoming KVC Westerlo 2-0 in the Belgian Cup final four days later.

Standard have won their sixth Belgian Cup
Standard have won their sixth Belgian Cup ©AFP

R. Standard de Liège have won a sixth Belgian Cup – but their first since 1993 – thanks to a 2-0 final victory over KVC Westerlo at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.

Les Rouches, who ended as runners-up in the Belgian championship, started as favourites but had goalkeeper Sinan Bolat to thank for repelling Paulo Henrique's drive after 18 minutes. That intervention proved telling as, in the 34th minute, Eliaquim Mangala gave Standard the lead when he headed in Steven Defour's corner.

Westerlo's hopes of only a second cup triumph evaporated just after the hour when Jelle Van Damme profited from a Jens Cools error, the defender's drive then deflecting off Adnan Mravac's leg past his own goalkeeper to double Standard's lead. Henrique forced Bolat into another fine save ten minutes from time, but Standard were rarely troubled thereafter.

Standard had already booked their place in the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League with their second-placed finish in the league, meaning Westerlo were guaranteed a UEFA Europa League qualifying berth before the final.