Saint-Étienne latest team to frustrate Lille in 1-1 draw

National Sports

SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP)Saint-Etienne defender Saidou Sow scored late to deny defending champion Lille its first win of the new French league season in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Sow scored with a header from a corner in the 84th minute. The ball went in off the underside of the crossbar to beat Lille goalkeeper Ivo Grbic on his debut.

Turkish veteran Burak Yilmaz had put Lille in front in the 37th. The ball rebounded off a defender before the 36-year-old Yilmaz turned and blasted it past Etienne Green in the home side’s goal.

Lille missed further good chances to build on the lead, but Green was in excellent form and made several key saves.

Sow scored to increase the pressure on Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec after a 3-3 draw at Metz was followed by a 4-0 home loss to Nice.

Saturday’s draw leaves Lille seven points behind Paris Saint-Germain after just three rounds.

Monaco’s poor league start also continued with a 2-0 loss at home to Lens, another team that had been looking for its first win.

Ignatius Ganago and Simon Banza scored in the second half for Lens, with Monaco goalkeeper Alexander Nubel at fault for the opener in the 51st minute.

Ganago easily got past Monaco defender Strahinja Pavlovic and then fired straight at Nubel from a narrow angle. But the German goalkeeper, who is on loan from Bayern Munich for the season, failed to hold onto Ganago’s shot as it squirmed past and inside the near post.

Lens had Cheick Doucoure sent off for a bad challenge on Krepin Diatta on the hour-mark, but Monaco’s Aleksandr Golovin followed him off in the 85th for his tackle on Banza.

Banza had the final say when he sealed the result in injury time.

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