Standard Liege leapt to the top of the Belgian First Division with a 1-0 win at Lokeren on Wednesday, while Anderlecht also tasted victory.Standard’s victory sees them level on points with second-placed Genk but ahead by eight goals on goal difference, with both sides having two matches to play in the Championship playoff stage.
The season is set for a thrilling finish, with the two sides to meet each other on May 17 at the Cristal Arena in Genk in a match which is likely to decide who will take this season’s title.
Standard’s win over Lokeren was far from comfortable, however, as the victors left it late at the Daknamstadion.
After more than an hour of play without a goal for either side, Standard manager Dominique D’Onofrio brought substitute Reginal Goreux onto the pitch.
It was a move which would quickly pay dividends.
The midfielder converted striker Mohamed Tchite’s assist after 79 minutes to score just his second goal of the season and definitely the most crucial.
The visitors held on through the dying stages to record another victory that takes their unbeaten run to 10.
In Wednesday’s other match, Anderlecht came from behind to hammer Gent 4-1; a result which keeps them three points behind the top two.
Israel forward Shlomi Arbeitman’s 25th-minute goal gave Gent an early lead, but teenage strike sensation Romelo Lukaku snared a crucial goal on the stroke of half-time to hand his side the impetus.
Ziguy Badibanga put Anderlecht ahead after 51 minutes at Stade Contant Vanden Stock in Brussels, before Lukaku claimed his brace 20 minutes from time.
Argentine forward Matias Suarez wrapped up the victory with a goal three minutes from time, with the win keeping Anderlecht’s slim title hopes alive.
They will now need to beat Standard Liege on Saturday to give them any chance of winning their 31st league title.