Anderlecht wins record 34th league title
RAF CASERT, Associated Press
BRUSSELS (AP) — Anderlecht won a Belgian league record 34th title on Thursday and its first in three years as its Poland international Lukacz Teodorczyk scored two goals to lead the Brussels club to a 3-1 win at Sporting Charleroi.
The victory gave Anderlecht a 7-point margin with one game to play. Closest rival FC Brugge lost 2-1 at the same time at KV Ostend.
Teodorczyk, known as "Teo" among fans, first scored a scrappy close-range goal in the 59th minute to put the sides level and then beat the offside trap in the 81st to secure the title with a low shot in the corner. Massimo Bruno put the game away in the 87th minute.
It also brought the goal total of lanky forward Teodorczyk to 22 to make him a hot favorite for the title of top striker when the league ends on Sunday.
After defending champion FC Brugge dominated the early part of the season, Anderlecht strongly came back and already was top at the end of the regular season this spring. It never looked back in the decisive playoff mini-league among the top six finishers, whose points from the regular season had been halved.
Anderlecht could already have won last weekend but playmaker Youri Tielemans missed a late penalty at rival FC Brugge. There were no such doubts on Thursday.
"I knew I had to do something when I came here. And today it happened," said Algerian captain Sofiane Hanni.
In a year of drastic renewal through much of its ranks, Anderlecht did better than expected with its late surge in form. Many predicted new coach Rene Weiler would be replaced by New Year but he survived and made sure the players bonded just in time.
The top finish gives Anderlecht a place in next season's Champions League.