Joe Cole scores in Lille draw
Joe Cole’s first goal in French football was one to savor but worth only a point after Lorient snatched a stoppage-time equalizer to draw 1-1 at Lille.
The midfielder on loan from Liverpool hit a stunning 34th-minute opener for Lille, on his fourth Ligue 1 appearance, and it looked set to bring three points.
However Kevin Monnet-Paquet blasted a late leveler, a couple of minutes after Cole had been substituted to a standing ovation.
Lille were the dominant side over the opening hour.
They threatened first in the eighth minute when Eden Hazard broke down the left and flicked the ball to Ludovic Obraniak who fed Ireneusz Jelen, 12 yards from goal.
Jelen could not be relied on for a precise finish though, firing slightly wide.
Build-up involving David Rozehnal and Obraniak set up Marko Basa for another Lille chance after 15 minutes, but Basa headed over the bar.
Fabien Audard saved well from Hazard’s fierce shot on the half-hour mark, but soon it was Cole’s turn to show the way to goal.
Out of favor with England, Cole showed he still has plenty of ability as he took a couple of touches before arrowing a fierce shot into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area.
It was a classy strike and Lille threatened to add to it early in the second half, with Audard turning Hazard’s free-kick behind for a corner.
Lorient began to come into the game though, and Jeremie Aliadiere made a chance for Gilles Sunu who headed just off target with Mickael Landreau in the Lille goal beaten.
Alaixys Romao also headed over from a good position, and Arnaud Le Lan drove a shot just over the bar from 16 yards.
Cole departed, with the job almost complete for last year’s champions.
But there was time for Lorient to stun the home support, as Monnet-Paquet got on the end of a free-kick from Mathieu Coutadeur to volley in the leveler three minutes into time added on.