Geoffrey Dernis scored an astonishing goal direct from a corner as LOSC Lille Métropole secured a narrow advantage against Sevilla FC in the first leg of their UEFA Cup last-16 tie.
Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio Notario misjudged the flight of Dernis's corner after 24 minutes, allowing the ball to creep under his crossbar, but the home team were grateful for their opponents' profligacy in front of goal as the match wore on. Indeed, the Primera División side started the game in determined mood with David Castedo trying his luck from distance as early as the first minute, and Malian striker Frédéric Kanouté went even closer four minutes later when his long-range effort rattled the crossbar.
Between those early chances, Matt Moussilou had already tested Notario, and the striker then hit the frame of the goal after 12 minutes. Goalkeeper Tony Sylva then denied Kanouté with a terrific save after 20 frenetic minutes before Notario's blunder handed Lille the lead. Still, Sevilla pressed and Kanouté twice came close to getting Sevilla back on level terms before half time, forcing Sylva to make another fine intervention to tip one shot around the post and putting another narrowly wide.
Lille almost doubled their advantage just before the interval as Bodmer's curling free-kick tested Notario but it did little to stem the Sevilla tide. The Spanish side continued to press after the restart, and the lively Kanouté was guilty of a poor miss when he failed to capitalise on a Sylva error. The former Tottenham Hotspur FC forward was to have the final chance of the night, but his header was saved, completing a frustrating outing for Sevilla, but with the amount of chances they created, they will feel confident of redressing the balance on home soil.
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