BRUSSELS – Japan striker Yuya Kubo came off the bench and scored one of two unanswered goals as Ghent beat Anderlecht 2-0 away Sunday to kick off its Belgium Championship playoffs campaign.
Brecht Dejaegere opened the scoring two minutes into the second half at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, while Kubo, who came on for the Belgian in the 79th minute, added a second in the 86th after Ghent was awarded a penalty.
Anderlecht goalkeeper Matz Sels saved Kubo’s initial attempt but the Japan international slotted away the rebound for his eighth goal of the season.
“I thank my manager and teammates for letting me take that kick. I got lucky,” said Kubo, whose fellow Japan international Ryota Morioka played the full 90 minutes for Anderlecht.
The winner of the playoffs, contested by the top six teams in the regular season, will be crowned league champion and gain qualification to next season’s Champions League.
In the Austrian Bundesliga, Masaya Okugawa played the whole game for Rapid Vienna and scored in the 85th minute in 4-2 defeat by Mattersburg.