Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight.
In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1.
There was little Vukovic could do to keep his side from falling behind in the first half, as Brugge’s pressure paid off with goals from Clinton Mata and Siebe Schrijvers.
It was a much more even contest after the break and Genk gave themselves hope of a comeback when Mbwana Samatta pulled a goal back 13 minutes from time.
But Brugge restored their two-goal buffer just a minute later Ruud Vormer to register a crucial victory and close to Genk the gap at the top of the table to eight points.
While disappointed with the result, Vukovic and Genk will quickly switch their focus to Friday morning’s (AEDT) Europe League Round of 32 second lead at home against Slavia Prague.
The first leg in the Czech Republic finished 0-0.
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AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic keeps clean sheet as Genk earn crucial away result
Elsewhere, it was a tough outing for Caltex Socceroos left-back Alex Gersbach, whose NAC Breda fell to a heavy defeat against high-flyers Ajax.
Gersbach, making a third-straight appearance in the league since his mid-season move from Rosenborg, played 90 minutes as the visitors were beaten 5-0 in Amsterdam.
While Ajax were able to close the gap to Aziz Behich and Trent Sainsbury’s league-leading PSV to four points, Breda remain two points adrift at the bottom of the ladder.
In Scotland, Tom Rogic remains sidelined through injury as Celtic scored in the final minute to beat Kilmarnock 1-0 at Rugby Park.
Skipper Scott Brown was the hero for the Hoops, netting at the death, only to receive a second yellow card just a minute later to get sent off.
The result has seen Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic open up an eight-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
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