It is advantage FC København in their UEFA Champions League play-off tie with LOSC Lille after César Santin's first-half header earned the Danish club a first-leg lead.
After twice coming from behind against Club Brugge KV in the last round, it seemed København would need to do so again after conceding an early penalty. Yet the outstanding Johan Wiland set the tone for the evening by denying Dimitri Payet with a great save. The 31-year-old denied LOSC time and again, while at the other end Santin slipped between centre-backs David Rozehnal and Aurélien Chedjou just before the interval to guide the hosts into a lead they would not relinquish.
The difference in styles was evident in the opening ten minutes. Delightful interplay on the edge of the home box ended with Marvin Martin's delicate back-heel sending Salomon Kalou clean through. Wiland stayed big to deny the Ivorian, before the hosts broke powerfully through the centre and Thomas Kristensen's rasping drive was palmed away by Mickaël Landreau.
København controlled possession for long stretches but created little, while LOSC's speed of thought and feet threatened. The home side cracked 15 minutes in when left-back Bryan Oviedo brought down Kalou in the box, but Wiland soared to his left to save from Payet and keep his side level.
Payet volleyed over before Martin followed suit with a drive from the edge of the area but the hosts were not without threat. Santin had a low drive deflected behind and then Christián Bolaños released the right-back Lars Jacobsen on the flank; his pinpoint cross allowed Santin to guide the ball in off the post.
LOSC's Brazilian forward, Túlio De Melo, did his best to get his side level after the interval, but a stinging drive was again turned away by Wiland before a header went narrowly wide. Wiland twice denied Chedjou following corners as LOSC cranked up the pressure, but the Danish side did not yield and take a slender advantage to France next week.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.