Bedoya lifts Nantes past Marseille

An early goal from U.S. international midfielder Alejandro Bedoya gave Nantes a 1-0 victory over Marseille on Friday and saw his team leapfrog its opponent into fourth place in the French league.

Bedoya scored from close range in the 17th minute. Filip Djordjevic cut the ball back for the American, whose low strike took a deflection off a defender to beat Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for his third league goal.

There was a minute of applause at Stade Velodrome before kickoff in memory of Nelson Mandela, the father of democratic South Africa, who died on Thursday.

Nantes was the more ambitious side in the first half and nearly doubled the lead in the 28th with Papy Djilobodji’s header from a corner, but Mandanda cleared the ball off the line.

Marseille showed more desire in the second half, but Nantes goalkeeper Remy Riou parried two long-range shots from Dimitri Payet in the 59th and 70th.

Andre-Pierre Gignac created the hosts’ best chance with a cross from the right flank in the 67th but substitute Saber Khalifa’s half-volley sailed over the bar.

Mandanda kept Marseille’s hopes of salvaging a draw alive by saving Djordjevic’s powerful effort in the 78th. But Nicolas Nkoulou missed a potential equalizer by heading a corner over the bar in stoppage time.

On Saturday, it’s: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Sochaux; Lorient vs. Rennes; Reims vs. Nice; Saint-Etienne vs. Evian; and Valenciennes vs. Guingamp.

On Sunday, second-place Lille visits Bordeaux, Monaco hosts Ajaccio, Lyon faces Bastia and Montpellier plays Toulouse.