Champions League

9-man Ghent hold on for draw

2015-09-17 07:20
Matz Sels (Gallo)

Ghent - Champions League newcomers Ghent overcame the disadvantage of two dismissals to come from behind and draw 1-1 with Olympique Lyonnais in their Group H encounter on Wednesday.

Ghent finished with nine men but goalkeeper Matz Sels made a one-handed penalty save just two minutes from time to ensure a share of the spoils in a drama-filled tie at the Artevelde Stadium.

The Belgian club's debut in Europe's premier club competition threatened to turn into a nightmare after Brecht Dejaegere was sent off four minutes before half-time for a studs-up challenge in a decision that seemed harsh on the part of Scottish referee William Collum.

Dejaegere was in tears as he departed the pitch and would have felt even worse 13 minutes into the second half when Lyon opened the scoring with substitute defender Christophe Jallett expertly heading home a corner.

But the lead lasted just 10 minutes before Danijel Milicevic equalised after a strong run down the wing and shot into the corner of the French team's net.

With two minutes left, Thomas Foket was dismissed for a tug from behind after being caught on the wrong side of Lyon's teenage substitute Aldo Kalulu and Lyon were awarded a penalty.

Alexandre Lacazette, seeking to end a recent goal drought, stepped up to take the spot kick but saw Sels stick up his hand to turn the effort over the crossbar.

The Belgians, who won a first domestic title in their 115-year history in May, made a bright start with Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes forced to save from Dejaegere after just two minutes and then getting a slight touch to a shot from Laurent Depoitre which thundered back off the crossbar seven minutes later.

Renato Neto missed a chance to give Ghent the lead on the stroke of half-time and despite the setbacks, the Belgians proved equals to a French team with considerable past Champions League experience.

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