Sporting Clube de Portugal secured their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Group C winners thanks to a narrow victory against LOSC Lille Métropole.
The Lisbon club made their first-half superiority tell on 28 minutes when Anderson Polga volleyed in his first European goal of the season. Lille responded after the break, hitting a post late on through David Rozehnal, but, despite their efforts, were unable to find the goal which would have prevented the hosts from recording their 100th win in UEFA club competition.
It was Lille who created the first opening when Emerson's cross from the left was met by the head of Túlio De Melo, but Rui Patrício saved well. Polga hit the crossbar in the 12th minute following Pedro Mendes's corner from the left but was not be denied a little over a quarter of an hour later, volleying another Mendes delivery past Mickaël Landreau.
Landreau then denied Yannick Djaló after the Sporting striker had escaped the clutches of the Lille defence, before De Melo and Aurélien Chedjou, both with headers, threatened an equaliser. The Ligue 1 high-fliers were on the front foot again after the break with De Melo directing another header off target, this time from the lively Eden Hazard's delivery.
Try as they might, Lille came up short, their luck being typified eight minutes from time when Rozehnal's shot was deflected on to a post and Rui Patrício thwarted Franck Beria on the rebound. They will hope for better when they host second-placed KAA Gent on 16 December needing a win if they are to leapfrog their opponents and qualify for the knockout stage.
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