Sun, Mar 16, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Reims settle for 1-1 draw after goalkeeper blunder

AP, REIMS, France

Reims midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, left, vies for the ball with Marseille midfielder Benoit Cheyrou during their game at Auguste Delaune Stadium in Reims, France, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Olympique de Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored his 13th goal in the French league this season to salvage a 1-1 draw with Stade de Reims on Friday.

Reims midfielder Antoine Devaux headed a cross from Franck Signorino into the top corner to put the hosts ahead in the 67th minute.

However, a blunder from Kossi Agassa cost Reims the victory. Gignac tucked the ball into an empty net in the 80th after the Reims goalkeeper failed to punch away a cross from Marseille rightback Rod Fanni.

Marseille remained in sixth place, one point clear of Reims. Securing a Champions League spot will prove difficult for Marseille as last season’s runner-up trail third-place LOSC Lille Metropole by eight points.

“I’m not satisfied,” Marseille coach Jose Anigo said. “One point is fine, but it’s not what we were looking for.”

Reims dominated possession in the opening minutes, but struggled to create clear-cut chances. Mads Albaek curled a free-kick straight into the gloves of Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the fourth minute, before Grzegorz Krychowiak fired a low drive wide in the eighth.

Marseille gradually took control of the match and nearly opened the scoring in the 17th when Gignac connected with a cross from Dimitri Payet, but Agassa saved the downward header.

In the second half, Agassa stopped a long-range volley from Gignac in the 60th. The Reims goalkeeper then flapped at a corner in the 63rd, but Marseille right back Rod Fanni flicked the loose ball over the bar from five meters.

The hosts had a short spell of domination, forcing Mandanda to deny Reims forwards Nicolas de Preville and Floyd Ayite in the 66th. A minute later, the Marseille goalkeeper could not stop a header from Devaux. However, poor decision-making from Agassa allowed Gignac to equalize.

“That mistake cost us dearly,” Reims coach Hubert Fournier said.

“But Kossi Agassa saved us in the first half. It’s a fair draw. I have regrets about the first half when we were a bit passive,” he added.

Paris Saint-Germain top the league with an eight-point lead over AS Monaco.

PSG are to host AS Saint-Etienne today, while Monaco visit Olympique Lyonnais, and Girondins de Bordeaux face Montpellier Herault.

Yesterday’s scheduled games were: Lille against Nantes; AC Ajaccio against En Avant de Guingamp; Evian Thonon Gaillard against Valenciennes; OGC Nice against SC Bastia; Stade Rennais against Toulouse and Sochaux-Montbeliard against Lorient.

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