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Standard Liege clinch first league title in 25 years

Standard Liege won their ninth Belgian league title, and first for 25 years, with a victory over Anderlecht on Sunday. After 31 games, unbeaten Liege top the table on 71 points with three games remaining.

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Standard Liege dethroned Anderlecht 2-0 on Sunday to claim their first Belgian first division title in 25 years.

 

Two second-half goals from Dieumerci Mbokani at home to last year's champions, combined with a scoreless draw earlier on Sunday between Club Bruges and Ghent, was enough to secure the Liege's ninth league title.

 

If Liege avoid defeat in their final three matches, they will become the first side in 42 years to stay unbeaten for the whole season. After 31 games, unbeaten Liege top the table on 71 points with three games remaining, ten points ahead of Anderlecht and Bruges, who have shared Belgian soccer's top prize for the past six years.

 

Mbokani put Liege, champions in 1982 and 1983, on the road to the title in the 54th minute when he latched on to a curling pass from Reginal Goreux and slotted the ball home.

 

The Congolese striker doubled his side's lead and sealed the league crown in the 77th minute after racing on to a through-ball from Costa Santos Bonfim Dante and lobbing it over the Anderlecht goalkeeper.

 

"When I woke up this morning I prayed to God it would happen today," Liege coach Michel Preud'Homme told reporters.

 

"It's been an amazing season and to win the title after 25 years the way we did today is extra special."

 

The former Belgium goalkeeper took over at the club he played for in the 70's and 80's in August 2006.

 

"Over the whole season we have proved to be the best team," Liege's U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu added.


"Hopefully we can win the rest of our games, stay unbeaten and go on to challenge in the Champions League next season."

 

At the opposite end of the table, FC Brussels were relegated after a 2-0 defeat at home to Excelsior Mouscron. Sint Truiden look favourites to join Brussels in division two next term after a 2-1 defeat at Germinal Beerschot.

 

With three game to play, Truiden have 23 points with Dender, 2-0 losers at Racing Genk, on 30 points and Mons-Bergen a point further ahead after a scoreless draw at Westerlo on Saturday.

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