Oostende miss chance to go top as security fears continue

BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Oostende missed an opportunity to top the Belgian league when they lost 2-1 at struggling Mechelen after conceding a late goal on Sunday after a weekend in which some matches were called off over security fears.

Sunday's other scheduled match between Mouscron-Peruwelz and Charleroi was postponed because of security concerns after Brussels went on maximum alert amid a search for armed Islamist extremists and fears of imminent attack.

Oostende lost to a goal nine minutes from time by Mechelen's Joachim van Damme, leaving the coastal club in third place on 31 points. They trail leaders Ghent by two points and Club Brugge on goal difference while Mechelen moved away from the drop zone.

Sofiane Hanni gave the hosts a 25th-minute lead but Zimbabwe international Knowledge Musona's second-half penalty brought Oostende level before Van Damme struck.

Mechelen are now in 11th place on 18 points.

Standard Liege continued to climb out of relegation danger with a 1-1 draw at home to Kortrijk. Standard are level on points with Mechelen after a terrible start to the season.

On Saturday, the Lokeren-Anderlecht game was called off after the league said "safety could not be guaranteed".

Belgium put the capital on maximum security alert on Saturday, shutting the metro and warning people to avoid crowds because of a "serious and imminent" threat of coordinated, multiple attacks by militants.

The move follows last week's deadly attacks in Paris by Islamic State militants. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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