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Lacazette's Lyon leveller denies Hapoel

Olympique Lyonnais 2-2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC
Alexandre Lacazette salvaged a draw for the hosts as Eli Gutman's men were denied a UEFA Europa League place.

Lacazette's Lyon leveller denies Hapoel
Lacazette's Lyon leveller denies Hapoel ©UEFA.com

A late goal from substitute Alexandre Lacazette salvaged a draw for Olympique Lyonnais against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC but was not enough to take the French club to the Group B summit.

Claude Puel's charges had already sealed a UEFA Champions League knockout stage place for an eighth consecutive season yet began with hope of overtaking section leaders FC Schalke 04. In the end, they were grateful for a share of the spoils after almost succumbing to a brilliant second-half performance from the visitors.

Although Lisandro broke the deadlock on 62 minutes, the hosts were behind seven minutes later as Ben Sahar and Eran Zahavi both scored. It looked as though Zahavi's wonderful acrobatic effort would be enough to propel Eli Gutman's men into third spot, ahead of SL Benfica, but Lacazette's 88th-minute leveller brought the Israeli side's European season to a close.

Lyon started in positive fashion, Lisandro's ferocious shot brushing the side netting before Bafétimbi Gomis nodded in Jimmy Briand's cross only for the effort to be ruled out for offside. With Yoann Gourcuff injured, Miralem Pjanić assumed creative duties and was involved in all Lyon's best moves in the first half, testing Vincent Enyeama himself with a curling shot.

Enyeama scored a penalty in the 3-1 home defeat by the French club and was proving a thorn in their side again. The Nigerian goalkeeper made excellent fingertip saves to deny Jean Makoun and Gomis, and when he was beaten by Cris' header Gil Vermouth was perfectly placed to head off the line. Makoun then struck the outside of the post following a defence-splitting back-heel from Lisandro.

While the Israeli champions rode their luck they also looked capable of scoring. Indeed, Hugo Lloris had already made one excellent save from Toto Tamuz when he denied Sahar after the substitute had inadvertently been sent clear by Maxime Gonalons on 39 minutes. Lloris pulled off another fine stop to keep out Vermouth early in the second period, although it was Lyon who drew first blood. After Michel Bastos' shot was deflected, Enyeama raced off his line to deny Briand, only for the loose ball to fall to Lisandro; he gratefully lashed home.

Last season's semi-finalists might have thought the hard work was done but they were rocking seven minutes later as Hapoel stormed back. Zahavi sent Sahar through seconds after the restart, the striker coolly steering his left-footed finish beyond Lloris' reach. Six minutes later Zahavi silenced the home fans by dispatching Salim Toama's cross into the top corner with a magnificent overhead kick. Enyeama's heroics continued as he denied Anthony Réveillère and Lisandro, but he could not keep out Lacazette's precise shot.