Gent and Club Brugge kicked off the Belgium First Division play-off phase with a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
The top six clubs in Belgium – Anderlecht, Genk, Gent, Club Brugge, Lokeren and Standard Liege – will compete in a play-off series to decide the championship, but neither Gent nor Brugge could get their campaign off to a winning start.
Brugge, who sat fourth heading into the play-offs, will rue not taking all three points after playing much of the match against 10 men.
Aliouane Soumahoro was given a straight red card after just 20 minutes, not long after Elimane Coulibaly had given the hosts the lead at the Jules Ottenstadion.
Wilfried Dalmat equalised for Brugge seven minutes after the interval, but try as they might they could not find another goal to win the match.
In play-off group two, where eight mid-table teams are battling for a Europa League berth, Westerlo defeated Kortrijk 3-0 and Germinal Beerschot triumphed 2-0 over Zulte-Waregem.
Elsewhere, Yannick Rymenants’ 75th minute goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Sint-Truiden on their trip to Mechelen, while Cercle Brugge were held 0-0 at home by Lierse.
AS Eupen won the first game of the third play-off series, which will decide which clubs are relegated, defeating Charleroi 3-2.
Brazilian striker Jeffe was the hero for Eupen, scoring the winner on 89 minutes after his side had twice come from behind.
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