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L1 (J35) : Nîmes concedes a draw against Reims



After four games without a win, Nîmes thought they had done the hardest against Reims with 20 minutes to go but the Champenois snatched a draw in the last ten minutes (2-2).

Second-last in the standings with the same number of points as Nantes, play-off team, at the beginning of the game, Nîmes wanted to take advantage of the arrival of Reims who had nothing to hope or fear to get back on track. Pascal Plancque’s players had lost two and drawn two of their last four games. And they started the game with the knife between their teeth! In the 5th minute, Gaëtan Paquiez crossed to the right and Birger Meling headed the ball to Zinedine Ferhat. The Algerian international controlled the ball past Marshall Munetsi and then connected from close range. Pedrag Rajkovic reflexively pushed it off the line! Three minutes later, Sidy Sarr laid it off to the back of Munetsi for the unstoppable Ferhat, who shot straight at him. On the quarter-hour mark and on the other side of the pitch, Boulaye Dia also went deep. Reims’ top scorer held off Loïc Landre and then crossed to Baptiste Reynet, but the Nîmes keeper had let his leg drag. On the other hand, the keeper was too short on the half-hour mark for the opening goal. Xavier Chavalerin had just stolen the ball from Sarr, then asked Nathanaël Mbuku. The young winger dived into the center, then took advantage of the wait-and-see attitude of his opponents to unleash a 22-meter shot with a vicious trajectory, which ended up in the right-hand window!

Nimes closes the gap and takes the lead
Probably informed by the results of Nantes and Lorient at the break, the Crocos came back on the field with the same determination as at the beginning of the first act. In the wake of the engagement, Lucas Deaux crossed to the far post. Thomas Foket threw himself in front of Ferhat to prevent the Algerian international from getting on the end of it, but the ball reached Renaud Ripart, who crashed his shot in from close range. Rajkovic was brilliant in the first half, but he missed completely, giving the Gardois captain the equalizer. David Guion could not but notice the deficit of his protégés in intensity, and sent Derek Kutesa on. The Swiss midfielder immediately made his mark with a shot from 30 meters that Reynet stretched out. The ball came back to Mbuku, who took the shot instantly… but the keeper was quickly up, and pushed the ball away again thanks to his solid covering!

Crocos not varnished
Nîmes took the lead in the 70th minute, after Landre opened the game from the halfway line for Ferhat. The Algerian international perfectly decaled Moussa Koné with his head. Between Munetsi and Yunis Abdelhamid, the Senegalese forward controlled and then evaded Rajkovic with a clever inside move! The Gardois held the three points… but nine minutes later, Alexis Flips missed his cross on the right side. A missed cross turned into a sumptuous lob for the young midfielder’s first minutes in Ligue 1, the ball falling on the top of the opposite post before entering the cage! The downfall of the future relegated? With their victories over Brest and Angers, Nantes and Lorient have taken two and six points ahead of the Crocos who did not give up, but lacked success.

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