Djibril Cissé provided AJ Auxerre with a priceless away victory at Boavista FC to ensure Guy Roux's side are prime candidates to advance to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Cissé scored the only goal of the game at the Bessa stadium after 70 minutes as Auxerre struck on the break having stymied their Portuguese opponents. Boavista's players, who were busy remonstrating with match referee Valentin Ivanov following a handball incident involving Philippe Mexes, were caught out by a quick attack involving Cissé and Khalilou Fadiga. The latter latched on to a long pass from defence on the Auxerre left to find the former on the other side of the pitch, and Cissé simply picked his spot under Ricardo from ten metres.
Marcelinho comes close
Boavista enjoyed the majority of possession in a rather uneventful first half, but were unable to break down the stubborn French outfit. The home side fashioned the first scoring chance in the seventh minute but Jorge Silva's shot from outside the area following a corner was easily gathered by Fabian Cool. Then three minutes from the interval, Marcelinho's impudent backheel from Erwin Sánchez's cross was narrowly wide of the post. But Auxerre signalled their attacking intent in first-half stoppage time when Cissé and Yann Lacheur combined only for Éder to intercept the ball as the visitors bore down on goal.
Auxerre raise tempo
On balance, the French side offered the more potent attacking threat, especially in the second half. Two minutes after the break, Cissé played in Fadiga only for Ricardo to turn the ball around the post for a corner. Auxerre captain Lachuer then tried to catch out the Boavista keeper by taking the corner quickly, but again Ricardo was on hand to gather the ball.
The home side were only able to create two decent scoring chances either side of Cissé's matchwinner, first when Élpidio Silva headed José Bosingwa's free-kick narrowly wide after 57 minutes, and then when Cool denied Éder from Duda's corner with 15 minutes remaining as Auxerre held on.
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