Union Saint-Gilloise make historic comeback to end regular season in top spot

Union Saint-Gilloise make historic comeback to end regular season in top spot
Union's Casper Nielsen celebrates after scoring against Standard de Liege, 3 April 2022. Credit: Belga

Royale Union Saint Gilloise’s miracle season continues, as their 3-1 win over Standard de Liege on Sunday has now guaranteed that they will finish at the top of the regular Belgian football table, ahead of Club Brugge, Antwerp and local rivals Anderlecht. 

This month, the first division of the Belgian league splits in two, with the top-ranked teams entering a new play-off league to decide who is crowned champion of Belgium. 

Union, who play at the beautiful Stade Joseph Marien inside Duden Park in Forest, have won the regular phase of the season with one game to spare; it is their first season back in the top tier of Belgian football after an absence of 48 years. 

Union's rise back to the top continues to make headlines around the world as one of this season's great football success stories. Having led the table for the majority of the season, Union are now guaranteed to play on the European stage next year. 

Brussels back on top

Despite the lengthy stint in obscurity and their absence from top-tier football, Union is the third most successful club in Belgian football, having also played in a semi-final of the UEFA cup (named Fairs Cup at the time) in 1960.

The club was bought by Tony Bloom in 2018, a British businessman and owner of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.

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Last year, the Brussels club won the second division (D2), and this year are the surprise favourites to go all the way in the play-offs and be crowned champions of the first division (D1) for the first time since 1935.  

The last time Brussels celebrated being on top in Belgian football was in 2016-17 with Anderlecht’s last championship win. 

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