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Belgian First Division wrap: Conflicting fortunes for Genk, Charleroi

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Apr 2011

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Genk moved four points clear at the top of the Belgian First Division on Saturday, while Charleroi were relegated.

In the only match of the day in the Championship playoff, Genk gave themselves a buffer over the chasing pack with a 3-0 win against Gent.

All the goals came in a 14-minute burst during the second half, which was kickstarted by Daniel Tozser’s 55th-minute opener.

Jelle Vossen’s 23rd goal of the season in all competitions just six minutes later extended Genk’s advantage and Kennedy Nwanganga sealed the result with his goal on 69 minutes.

In the Europa League playoff, Cercle Brugge jumped to the top of Group A with a 3-1 home triumph against Mechelen.

Bernt Evens, Kristof D’Haene and Dominic Foley all scored within the first hour and, although Julien Gorius scored a late consolation for the visitors, Cercle Brugge were able to snap their run of four consecutive draws with the victory.

In the other Group A match, Lierse dropped to second after they could only draw 1-1 with Sint-Truiden, thanks to Mohamed El-Gabbas’ 50th-minute equaliser.

In Group B of the Europa League playoff, Westerlo moved ahead of Zulte-Waregem and into top spot after a 1-0 home win against Germinal Beerschot, with Aleksandr Yakovenko’s goal after seven minutes deciding the contest.

Despite two incredibly late goals, a 2-2 draw for Charleroi against AS Eupen was not enough to keep them in the top flight.

Marko Obradovic struck a quick-fire double after 75 and 82 minutes to hand Eupen the lead.

But the hosts came charging back, with Abraham Kudemor scoring after 100 minutes, before David Biton amazingly equalised in the 103rd minute.

But the point was not enough for Charleroi, who will drop to the Second Division despite the result.

Eupen will now take on the winner of the second-tier’s promotion playoff as they bid to preserve their top-flight status.

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