RC Lens 3-0 FC Torpedo Kutaisi Lens have to wait before making their dominance tell.
A second-half improvement put French outfit RC Lens in pole position for a UEFA Cup first-round place thanks to a 3-0 qualifying round first-leg success over Georgia's FC Torpedo Kutaisi.
During the opening period, Lens, clear favourites before the match, struggled to find a gap in the resolute visitors' defence, with half-chances for John Utaka and Daniel Moreira the only moments of note in a tight first half-hour.
Keita hits the woodwork
The hosts finally created a scoring opportunity after 32 minutes, when midfield player Seydou Keita headed a centre from Daouda Jabi against the intersection of post and crossbar. However, Lens would have been disappointed not to make their territorial domination count before the break.
It was a similar story for a spell after the interval, with Kutaisi's packed rearguard thwarting Lens's efforts to build up any momentum. But the deadlock was broken at last after 69 minutes, when Moreira converted a perfect cross from the dangerous Utaka.
The visitors crumbled in the closing stages. Utaka made it 2-0 with an impressive individual effort, and Pape Bouba Diop made it three with the final whistle beckoning. Even if Lens did not show their best form, they were well on top, with home goalkeeper Charles Itandje a spectator for long periods.