Lille, Nancy draw in stadium opener

Lille, Nancy draw in stadium opener

Published Aug. 17, 2012 1:00 a.m. ET

Lille failed to mark their first outing at their new stadium with three points as Nancy held on for a battling 1-1 draw in Friday night's Ligue 1 encounter.

Nancy's Djamel Bakar had the honour of scoring the first goal at the 50,000-seater Grand Stade Lille Metropole, a stadium which also boasts the first retractable roof at a sporting venue in France.

Bakar's beautiful curling strike was a fitting way to kick-start the action at the new venue, while Salomon Kalou's equalizer three minutes before the break was another effort from the top drawer.

There was less quality on show in a fractious second half, and when Nancy lost Benjamin Moukandjo to a second yellow card in the 79th minute, there was only one team going for the win but a second goal failed to arrived.


The stalemate at least gives both teams the honor of sitting at the top of the league standings with four points from their opening two games ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures.

Dimitri Payet and Tulio De Melo threatened for Lille in a bright opening for the hosts, but the breakthrough should have come midway through the half when Kalou burst beyond the Nancy backline after latching on to a loose ball at the halfway line.

The former Chelsea man had defenders trailing in his wake as he closed in on goal, but when he pulled the trigger on the edge of the area the ball slewed horribly wide.

On 34 minutes Nancy punished that miss to the full, Bakar cutting inside his man and firing in a curling, dipping shot from 25 yards beyond the reach of the helpless Mickael Landreau.

But the lead lasted less than 10 minutes before Kalou atoned for his earlier miss in some style.

Marvin Martin was the architect with a deep cross from the right channel which the Ivory Coast striker met with a superb looping header over Guy Ndy Assembe.

Lille almost hit the front on 50 minutes when Franck Beria's cross from the right was steered towards goal by Kalou but Ndy Assembe somehow made the save.

Moukandjo's dismissal with 11 minutes left Nancy holding on for a point, and when Payet fired a free-kick over in the closing moments, the stalemate was assured.