MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, May 20, 2013
A one-one tie with Zulte-Waregem was enough for Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht to repeat as Belgian champions.
In a game that the visitors had to win if they were to steal the crown from les Mauves, it just didn't happen on Sunday afternoon as Lucas Biglia's equalizer was enough to give the Brussels outfit not only the Belgian crown but also a place in next season's Champions League group stages.
Sacha Kljestan went the distance for the champs in the middle of the park in a game that saw a pretty uninspiring first half where the only decent chance was from Waregem's Thorgan Hazard but Anderlecht's defender Bram Nuytinck was able to snuff out the danger. The game really started to show promise after the intermission.
Zulte made a change at the restart with Franck Berrier coming on for Ibrihima Conte, who lacked any creativity in the first half. The change seemed to work too because ten minutes later it looked like the championship was leaving Brussels and heading to Flanders when Mbaye Leye picked out Jens Naessens and the Belgian wheeled away as Silvio Proto picked the ball out of the back of his net.
The 600 traveling supporters celebrated for just a couple of minutes because it was Anderlecht's turn and it was their Argentinian captain who did the damage and put the teams back on par.
The Anderlecht faithful had to sweat it out the last ten minutes because their usual defensive stalwart Cheikou Kouyate made one of the worst tackles in history on Naessens and the referee reached into his pocket and pulled out a bright red card for the man from Senegal.
Les Mauves were able to hold on however and keep the title in Brussels.