The Purple & White took on Cercle Bruges as part of the third JPL match at the Jan Breydel Stadium today, Sunday 12th August 2012. Sporting won 0-3, took the three points and became co-leader in the league.
Anderlecht coach John van den Brom carried through a number of changes to his starting line-up. Cheikhou Kouyate, back from the Olympics since last week, took his place in central defence again to replace the injured Olivier Deschacht. Marcin Wasilewski, Milan Jovanovic and Dieumerci Mbokani, who were absent in Vilnius, took their positions again as well. Talented youthful midfielder Massimo Bruno appeared on the bench for the first time.
Sporting got off to a flying start and put the home team behind after only five minutes of play. Tom De Sutter passed the ball on to Dennis Odoi, who perfectly reached Dieumerci Mbokani: 0-1. Cercle took the first corner of the match, but did not do much with it, as the Purple & White kept on attacking. Guillaume Gillet hit the side of the net after a pass by Dieumerci Mbokani and a shot from a distance by Kanu went wide. Halfway through the first half, the 0-2 went in. Milan Jovanovic sent away Dieumerci Mbokani and the striker scored on the rebound. After half an hour’s worth of play Kanu was almost able to pass the ball on to Guillaume Gillet, but the shot went wide. Ten minutes before half-time Cercle had their first opportunity when the Purple & White defence were not able to get rid of the ball, which ended up with Wils, but his shot went long. 0-2 at half-time.
Cercle tried to put more pressure on the visitors in the first stages of the second half and succeeded. Cornelis turned a corner into a good centre, but Portier was not able to hit the ball hard enough as a result of which it did not go in. After an hour’s worth of play, Vetokele pushed through, but Marcin Wasilewski was back in time to turn the opportunity into a corner. Evens took his chance, but Cheikhou Kouyate saved. Twenty minutes before the final whistle, the same Cheikhou Kouyate pushed through, passed the ball on to Dieumerci Mbokani, but he was not able to take a swing. Kanu was, but his attempt failed. Anderlecht took control of the game again and Kanu’s shot from a distance was turned into a corner by Verbist. Fifteen minutes before the final whistle, the 0-3 score appeared on the board when Dieumerci Mbokani scored with a lob – after a cross by Guillaume Gillet. Cercle did try after that, but they did not manage to score anymore. Five minutes before the final whistle, Dieumerci Mbokani was replaced by Massimo Bruno, the official debut for the youngster in the Purple & White first team. The score stayed the same, 0-3 after 90 minutes. The Purple & White are now co-leader in the league thanks to these three points.