"This is something beautiful," said RSC Anderlecht coach John van den Brom after steering the club to their 32nd Belgian title courtesy of a final-day 1-1 draw against SV Zulte Waregem.
Article top media content
RSC Anderlecht are celebrating their 32nd Belgian title after a dramatic final-day 1-1 draw with rivals SV Zulte Waregem.
Two points clear of their guests at the start of play, Les Mauves needed to avoid defeat to clinch the championship. A sold-out Constant Vanden Stock Stadium had to endure a nervy afternoon, with Bram Nuytinck's header bouncing back off a post, and Thorgan Hazard sending a free-kick centimetres wide for the visitors.
Zulte Waregem grew in confidence after the interval and stunned the home crowd when Jens Naessens' header made Silvio Proto's net bulge following a neat combination between Hazard and Mbaye Leye. The response from John van den Brom's side was immediate, however, as Lucas Biglia's free-kick deflected in off Leye.
Optimism turned to uncertainty when Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyaté was dismissed for a foul on Naessens, and a tortuous final few minutes followed before their title was confirmed. "I have never won the championship as a coach so this is something beautiful," said Van den Brom, whose team will take their place in next season's UEFA Champions League. "It was a difficult game and Zulte Waregem played very well."