MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Kenny Saief put in an 83-minute shift for Anderlecht's victory, while Erik Palmer-Brown got the nod and went the full 90 for Kortrijk's victory over Lierse.
Anderlecht 3 - 1 Charleroi
After a pair of defeats, the defending champions had to get back to winning ways if they wanted to keep the title in Brussels and they did just that in front of their home fans on Sunday afternoon with the 3-1 victory over Sporting Charleroi.
Kenny Saief started in the midfield once again though was given a few minutes rest when substituted by Belgian teen, Francis Amuzi. Anderlecht was also without their ace striker Lukasz, who's serving a red card suspension.
Charleroi defended well and was sometimes lucky but their luck ran out a minute before half-time when Pieter Gerkens scored from seven yards out after latching on a long pass from Japanese international Ryota Morioka. The Samurai Blue then got on the scoresheet himself a dozen minutes after the intermission thanks to Leander Dendoncker's perfectly weighted corner kick.
Saief should have seen his name flash up on the scoreboard with a close-range goal but the pinpoint pass from Morioka that the American tried to sneak into the near post from yards out was knocked away by Nicolas Penneteau between the sticks.
The Zebras got themselves back into the game in the 70th minute when Senegalese midfielder Amara Baby squared the ball for second half sub Kaveh Rezaei. The Iranian international, who will be heading to the World Cup this summer, easily found the back of the net. The goal was too little, too late however as Anderlecht struck again.
This time it was Adrien Trebel assisting Dendoncker. In the 73rd minute, the Frenchman took a free kick top left of the 18-yard box and his Belgian colleague ran past four defenders to head it inside the near post from six yards out to put the game to bed.
Fortunately for les Mauvres, Club Brugge just couldn't find the winner against Genk on Friday night and that contest ended one apiece. Although still a big mountain to climb, these weekend results have given the champions a glimmer of hope as the gap between the two teams is now down to five points with just four games remaining. The game that will probably decide who will lift the Pro League crown in 2018 will be contested on Sunday afternoon when Anderlecht travels to the Venice of the North to take on Club.
KV Kortrijk 2 - 1 Lierse SK
Check out Michael Adubato's press box report which will be posted soon.
Juan Pablo Torres wasn't even named to the bench when Sporting Lokeren traveled east to take on Claude Makelele's KAS Eupen. They picked up a vital three points on the road however and find themselves four points clear in Playoff Group B. Next up for the Tricolores is a visit from Royal Antwerp.
Ethan Horvath was on the bench as Club Brugge ended their game with a 1-1 tie on the road at Genk. Anderlecht comes to town for the next game.