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Anderlecht crowned champions of Belgium

"Now it's time to party," said RSC Anderlecht coach Ariël Jacobs after Guillaume Gillet's last-gasp penalty sealed a 1-1 draw with Club Brugge KV and the club's 31st Belgian title.

Brazilian forward Kanu enjoys Anderlecht's title triumph
Brazilian forward Kanu enjoys Anderlecht's title triumph ©AFP

RSC Anderlecht are celebrating their 31st Belgian title after a last-gasp penalty from Guillaume Gillet secured a 1-1 draw with second-placed rivals Club Brugge KV.

Already six points clear of their guests at the end of the 30-game regular season, Les Mauves increased that advantage to seven after eight games in their play-off group. With just three matches to go ahead of Sunday's fixture, the Brussels side knew a point would be enough to end their title chase – but they had to endure a nervy afternoon before finally getting it.

The first half ended without goals despite Brugge's Vadis Odjidja rounding goalkeeper Silvio Proto. Roland Juhász saved the hosts on that occasion but he could do nothing as Anderlecht fell behind after 72 minutes, Maxime Lestienne tapping in from close range after Carlos Bacca had broken clear down the right.

The champagne looked destined to be put back on ice until Gillet fired in a dramatic equaliser five minutes into added time, converting from the spot after Michael Almebäck had brought down Dieudonné Mbokani in the area.

"I'm standing here with a strange feeling," said Anderlecht coach Ariël Jacobs. "We were not really in the match and gave the goal away too easily. We'll put that down to stress, but there was still enough time left to change the outcome. We put our hopes on the long ball and it became hectic at times. This is the result of what we started working on in July. Now it's time to party."

For Anderlecht chairman Roger Vanden Stock, the result brought a seventh championship since he took over from his father Constant in 1996. "With a seven-point lead and two rounds of games to go, we're already champions – we certainly didn't steal this title," he explained. "To perform under pressure is always very difficult. We didn't play our best football today, but this time the result is the most important thing."

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