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Gaziantepspor stroll on French soil

Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 19.15CET
RC Lens 1-3 Gaziantepspor (agg: 1-6) Turkish visitors continue their dominance against French opponents.
Published: Thursday 27 November 2003, 19.15CET

Gaziantepspor stroll on French soil

RC Lens 1-3 Gaziantepspor (agg: 1-6) Turkish visitors continue their dominance against French opponents.

Gaziantepspor eased their way into the third round of the UEFA Cup with a comfortable away victory against RC Lens.

Three-goal cushion
The visitors had established a three-goal cushion from the first leg in Turkey, but had to resist some intense initial pressure from Lens, who knew an early goal was vital to their hopes of finding a way back into the tie. Twice Dagui Bakari went close in the opening exchanges but Gaziantepspor, marshalled well by defensive midfield player Samuel Johnson, refused to be intimidated.

Wayward shooting
Bakari caused plenty of problems for the Turkish side, but his shooting was wayward and Lens' first real effort fell to Rigobert Song, but the captain's half-volley was straight at Gaziantepspor goalkeeper Ömer Çatkiç.

Song scare
Song thought his game was over ten minutes from the interval when he was shown a red card following a clumsy tackle on Erhan Namli, but fortunately for the Cameroonian defender, the referee realised his mistake and produced a yellow instead.

Defence switches off
As Lens searched for the goal that they hoped would spark their challenge into life, Gaziantepspor effectively ended the tie as a contest in the 39th minute. Zdravko Lazarov was fouled on the edge of the area and with the home side's defence not ready, Bülent Bölükbasi latched on to a quick free-kick and shot low past Charles Itandje to leave the French side needing to score five.

Jaziri joy
Their faint hopes were extinguished ten minutes after the interval as Ziad Jaziri made it 5-0 on aggregate. Adama Coulibaly missed a harmless through-ball, Jaziri collected possession and calmly waited for the right option, and Erhan Namli ran on to his perfect pass to score.

Red card
With the tie all over, there was more bad news for the home team as striker Daniel Moreira was shown a red card after a nasty tackle that left Bülent Bölükbasi needing lengthy treatment. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the introduction of substitute Bruno Rodriguez seemed to galvanise Lens, who pulled a goal back when Mehmet Polat deflected Rod Fanni's near-post shot past his own goalkeeper.

Paying the penalty
Rodriguez continued to cause the visitors problems, but it was too little too late and Gaziantepspor wrapped up their second-leg win five minutes from time. Song fouled Jaziri, and Lazarov duly converted from the penalty spot.

Muller disappointment
Lens coach Joël Muller was understandably disappointed by the way his side capitulated over the two legs. "We have lost this match when we had made it a matter of pride to win it," he said. "We hoped to take control from the beginning and create chances. We did not do enough to score. It's not a big setback but a disappointment, especially with the first leg score."


Last updated: 28/11/03 0.48CET