sport

Anderlecht crowned champions

Anderlecht won their third consecutive Belgian title, and their 33rd in total, after beating Lokeren 3-1 on the final day of the season.

The win ensured the Brussels club ended the campaign two points clear of runners-up Standard Liege, who beat Racing Genk 1-0 at home, and three ahead of Club Bruges, and they qualify automatically for next season's Champions League group stage.

The title marks an unlikely turnaround by Besnik Hasi who took charge after coach John van den Brom was fired in March following a ninth league defeat of the season.

Anderlecht finished the 30-game regular season in third place in the table, 10 points behind leaders Standard and six adrift of Club Bruges.

However, points totals are halved going into the play-offs - contested by the top six sides - and Anderlecht won their last five matches to take the championship.

Runners-up Standard go into next season's Champions League third qualifying round while Club Bruges go into the Europa League with Zulte Waregem and Cup winners Lokeren.

Anderlecht went ahead against Lokeren when Aleksandar Mitrovic converted a pass by Dennis Praet in the 19th minute, but the hosts then lost keeper Silvio Proto after he suffered a hand injury.

There was a brief moment of worry for Anderlecht when defender Anthony Vanden Borre was sent off for fouling Lokeren's Jordan Remacle and Hamdi Harbaoui equalised from the penalty spot.

But the tension was short-lived with Lokeren also reduced to 10 men shortly after with Koen Persoons dismissed.

Anderlecht quickly restored their advantage before the hour with Chancel Mbemba netting and Praet made the points safe with a third goal in the 67th minute.