Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 19 News List

‘Les Verts’ held by Bordeaux, Marseille stay two points clear

AP, SAINT-ETIENNE, France

AS Saint-Etienne’s Kevin Monnet-Paquet miskicks the ball against Girondins de Bordeaux in their Ligue 1 match in Saint-Etienne, France, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

AS Saint-Etienne and Girondins de Bordeaux missed the chance to go level on points with French league leaders Olympique de Marseille after drawing 1-1 on Thursday.

In front of their buoyant fans, Saint-Etienne extended their unbeaten home record to 16 matches, but should rue their lack of efficiency.

Christophe Galtier’s side missed too many chances in the first half, although Ricky van Wolfswinkel, on loan from Norwich City, opened the scoring with a left-footed shot after connecting with a fine cross from Franck Tabanou in the 29th minute.

Defender Tiago Ilori, an English Premier League player on loan from Liverpool, headed home the equalizer eight minutes later against the run of play after some confusion in the penalty area following a corner.

“We wouldn’t have deserved the three points,” said Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol, a former Saint-Etienne and France player. “We showed determination, but in terms of quality of play we did not show much.”

Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux both trail Marseille by two points after seven matches.

Saint-Etienne, who travel to Marseille tomorrow, got off to a bright start and created a first opportunity after four minutes when Francois Clerc unleashed a long-range strike that forced goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso to a two-fisted save.

The hosts kept pushing throughout the first half and Van Wolfswinkel should have scored in the 16th minute from Allan Saint-Maximin’s low cross, but he missed the target from close range as Carrasso looked well beaten.

Saint-Etienne’s best chance of the second half came in the 58th minute when Renaud Cohade volleyed from long range, only to be denied by Carrasso.

Bordeaux players vented their anger at the referee in stoppage-time after he ignored their penalty claims when Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier rushed to the ball in the penalty area with Nicolas Maurice-Belay hitting the ground.

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