Joel Asoro, Metz
Match Reports

Asoro adds to Lens' woes

Asoro adds to Lens' woes

Match Reports
Publish on 09/16 at 23:02


Joel Asoro scored the only goal of the game as in-form Metz extended their unbeaten run to four Ligue 1 Uber Eats matches and inflicted a rare home defeat on UEFA Champions League participants Lens with a 1-0 win in northern France on Saturday.


Lens will head to Spain to start their Champions League bid against Sevilla in midweek with morale at a low point, and if Lyon avoid defeat against Le Havre on Sunday evening, last season's runners-up will likely find themselves bottom of the table when they make their long-awaited return to European club football's premier competition.


The hosts must have thought their usually impregnable Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis, where they were on an 18-game unbeaten run, would help them get the result they wanted to reinforce their flagging morale; Florian Sotoca's face-to-face with Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja suggested Lens might get the confidence boost of a win they desperately sought (13').


The visitors' Algeria international goalkeeper was called upon again soon after when Angelo Fulgini picked out Elye Wahi (17'), who found Oukidja in frustratingly obstinate mood.



Metz, who had picked up their only win of the season away at Clermont, held firm, and eight minutes before the break caught Lens cold. 


Matthieu Udol's first-time cross seemed to catch the home rearguard - featuring debutant Abdukodir Khusanov in place of the suspended Facundo Medina - sleeping, and Asoro stole in to open his Ligue 1 Uber Eats account with his very first attempt at goal (37').


Wahi was again denied by Oukidja (44'), who then stopped Fulgini (58') before watching Wahi wheel away in delight having finally beaten him only to then see the offside flag raised against Sotoca (66') to preserve his team's lead.


Faitout Maouassa (79') and Sotoca once more (90+3') also came up short against Oukidja, who kept a clean sheet to give Metz back-to-back away wins with which to start a top-flight season for the first time since the 2004/05 season.


THE PLAYER: Alexandre Oukidja

The Metz goalkeeper was all that stood between Lens and a welcome three points, but he was enough. The veteran was the coolest customer in the stadium, and would have single-handedly earned his side the points if only he hadn't had to use both to keep the hosts at bay.



Oukidja made 10 saves in the game, a career-high for him, and the most any goalkeeper has made in one of Europe's top five leagues this season.


>> MATCH REPORT: Rennes rally to peg back Lille

Top videos