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Soccer News of Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Acheampong’s Anderlecht lose Belgian Cup final

There was misery for Ghana’s Frank Acheampong on Sunday as his Anderlecht side were pipped by rivals Club Brugge in a dramatic Belgian Cup final.

Tom De Sutter opened the scoring for Brugge on 12 minutes with an excellent volley, and for the next 77 minutes they looked good to hold onto their lead and lift the domestic cup.

However, there was delight for Anderlecht two minutes before the end of the match when former Partizan Belgrade striker Aleksandar Mitrovic finally found an equaliser.

There was a final sting in the tail, and no sooner had Anderlecht relaxed and begun looking towards another half an hour of play than Brugge struck again.

Extra time was not forthcoming as Lior Refaelov struck a delicious volley in injury time to break Anderlecht hearts and ensure that Brugge would be raising the trophy.

The Belgian Cup is the first silverware won by the Blue-Black in eight years, but Michel Preud-homme will be hoping that there are more honours to come for his team this term.

They finished top of the Jupiler League table—four points ahead of Anderlecht—and both sides will enter the championship play-offs.

Brugge have also advanced to the quarter-finals of the Europa League where they face Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, having seen-off Daniel Opare’s Besiktas in the last round.

Acheampong entered the contest in the 58th minute as Besnik Hasi sought to turn his side’s fortunes around. He replaced Marko Marin but was unable to help the Purple and White prevent Refaelov’s late winner.

The right winger featured three times for Ghana during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, coming on as a substitute during each of the two knockout matches and the final. He also started Avram Grant’s first match in charge—the friendly against Olhanense—and came on in the pre-tournament friendly draw with Cambuur.

His presence under Grant comes in contrast to his persistent overlooking by previous manager Kwesi Appiah. Acheampong played and scored for the Black Stars in a friendly against Japan in 2013 but was never selected by the previous coach again and was overlooked for the 2014 World Cup.

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