France round-up: Lens held at home

RC Lens drew 1-1 at home while Lille OSC edged past FC Nantes Atlantique on Saturday.

RC Lens drew 1-1 at home with struggling FC Lorient while Lille OSC edged past FC Nantes Atlantique on Saturday.

Lorient thwart Lens
Bottom club Lorient earned a valuable point away at Le Championnat leaders Lens, weathering a second-half storm to earn a 1-1 draw. Charles-Edouard Coridon gave Lens the lead after eleven minutes, rounding goalkeeper Sébastien Hamel to slide the ball into an empty net.

Stubborn defending
However, Jean-Claude Darcheville ghosted past Djimi Traoré and buried a left-footed shot past the hapless Guillaume Warmuz to equalise for Lorient on the stroke of half-time. Lens kept the visitors penned inside their own half after the break but Lorient defended stubbornly to earn a point.

LOSC hang on
Meanwhile, LOSC weathered a first-half onslaught by Nantes at La Beaujoire stadium before stealing their first victory of the year through a Mile Sterjovski goal after the break.

Sucker punch
The visitors delivered their sucker punch with 20 minutes left to play as Sterjovski picked up a loose Nantes clearance on the edge of the penalty area and slammed the ball high into the net. Even then Nantes missed a golden chance to equalise in injury time as Frederic da Rocha struck a penalty against woodwork following a foul on Nestor Fabbri.

Denied by woodwork
With no win in six previous outings, Vahid Halilhodzic's team looked there for the taking in the first 45 minutes. But goalkeeper Grégory Wimbee kept the visitors in the game and when he was finally beaten, by midfielder Olivier Quint's free-kick on the stroke of half-time, the woodwork came to Lille's rescue.

Auxerre on the up
Elsewhere, AJ Auxerre gained ground on the league leaders with a 2-1 win away at ES Troyes Aube Champagne - Djibril Cisse and Lionel Mathis the visitors' scorers - while FC Girondins de Bordeaux had a comfortable 3-1 win at home against Montpellier Hérault SC, Portuguese striker Pauleta scoring twice to take his goal tally to 19.

Bastia ease to victory
SC Bastia enjoyed a similarly productive afternoon as Tony Vairelles struck twice in a 3-0 win against FC Sochaux Montbélliard, but there were no goals at the Louis Dugauguez stadium as CS Sedan-Ardennes drew 0-0 with AS Monaco FC.

Le Roux leveller
In Saturday’s final game, En Avant Guingamp drew 1-1 with Stade Rennais FC. Cedric Bardon's 31st-minute free-kick gave the home side a half-time lead in this Breton derby only for Christophe le Roux to level from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time.

Waterlogged pitch
Olympique de Marseille's match against FC Metz was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at the Stade Vélodrome.