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Lierse relegated from Belgian Pro League after losing to Eupen
Mohamed Helal, Ahmed Sayed Zizo and Karim Hafez started and played the full 90 minutes, with Ahmed Hassan Elgenawy making a cameo appearance off the bench as Lierse SK lost 3-1 to Eupen to seal their relegation from the Belgian Pro League last night.
The Egyptian owned side, who are currently nearing the end of their relegation playoff series in the Belgian League, were not able to gain the crucial 3 points that they needed to stay in contention for the final spot in next season’s Belgian Pro League. The playoff series sees four teams pitted against each other in a group format with only the top team remaining in the top flight, whilst the other three are automatically relegated.
In an extremely tense fixture which saw multiple yellow cards as well as two red cards, Eupen took the lead in the 25th minute, with Nigerian Anthony Bassey putting the ball into the back of the net for the visitors. Lierse were handed a bonus in the 38th minute, with Eupen defender Nicolas Timmermans receiving a straight red card, reducing the away side to ten men.
With the second half beginning at 0-1 to the away side, Lierse SK threw away their advantage when Kenyan Ayub Masika was sent off for the home side, three minutes after the restart to restore parity in terms of players on the pitch. Egyptian striker Ahmed Hassan Elgenawy was brought on in the 54th minute to add some much needed firepower to the Lierse frontline. With pressure increasing on the away side, Lierse SK finally got their goal in the 78th minute to restore parity, with Etien Velekonja scoring for the home side to make it 1-1. Eupen had the last say though, with Samuel Assamoah restoring Eupen’s one goal lead in the 84th minute and compounding Lierse’s woes further with a match sealing goal in the 94th minute.
The loss leaves Lierse in 3rd place in the table of four, with the Egyptian owned side now mathematically not able to win the playoff series, relegating them to the second tier of Belgian football for the first time since 2007. The Belgian side still have one more game to play, with a dead rubber clash against bottom side Lommel to come on Monday the 25th of May. Eupen, who sit second in the table following the win need to beat top side Oud-Heverlee in the other clash on Monday by a margin of two or more goals in order to stay in the Belgian top flight, now only able to qualify on goal difference.