Mechelen took a three-point lead in Group A of the Belgian First Division playoffs II with a 2-1 win over Lierse on Friday.
Forward Christian Kabasele put visitors Mechelen ahead 14 minutes into the match at the Herman Vanderpoortenstadion, before Belgium international striker Christian Benteke doubled their lead in the 66th minute.
Norwegian midfielder Alexander Mathisen pulled one back for the hosts two minutes before the final whistle, but it proved too late for Lierse to salvage anything from the game.
Mechelen now top the group with four points from two matches played, while Lierse are level on one point with Sint-Truiden and Cercle Brugge, who meet on Saturday.
The side which wins the playoffs’ division II is rewarded with a berth in the UEFA Europa League.
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