LOSC Lille 1-1 FC Krasnodar
Simon Kjær's 63rd-minute free-kick rescued a point for the French hosts after an impressive group stage debut by Krasnodar.
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• Ricardo Laborde breaks deadlock on 35 minutes for the European debutants
• Florent Balmont goes close for LOSC with early deflected shot that hits the post
• Vincent Enyeama makes fine stops to deny Odil Ahmedov and Ari
• Simon Kjær equalises with a free-kick, his first European goal
• Next games: Krasnodar v Everton, Wolfsburg v LOSC (2 October)
Simon Kjær cancelled out Ricardo Laborde's strike just after the hour as LOSC Lille battled back to earn a share of the UEFA Europa League spoils at home to FC Krasnodar.
This Group H fixture marked Krasnodar's introduction to European football proper, and LOSC seemed intent on making it a hostile welcome early on. They almost got a goal, too, as a deflected Florent Balmont shot on nine minutes left Andriy Dykan scrambling. Yet once the Russian visitors had settled, they looked every bit European regulars.
Ten minutes before the break, they went ahead with a goal heavier on significance than artistic merit. Artur Jędrzejczyk's cross deflected into the path of Odil Ahmedov, who back-heeled to Ricardo Laborde on the penalty spot. The striker swung his foot and made connection with a shot that ricocheted off Balmont and into the net.
Ari ought to have made it 2-0 on half-time, but Vincent Enyeama came out on top in a one-on-one, and the goalkeeper did even better early in the second half to deny Ahmedov after he had been sent clear. The game opened up, with chances at both ends, though LOSC did not look like scoring until Kjær's free-kick found the net.
Either team could have gone on to conjure a winner, with Marcos Lopes going closest for LOSC with a late shot that fizzed a whisker away, but a point apiece seemed just.