RC Lens players celebrating
Match Reports

Recap: Florian Sotoca Penalty Lifts Lens Over Clermont

Recap: Florian Sotoca Penalty Lifts Lens Over Clermont

Match Reports
Publish on 04/20 at 23:30 - E. RAZO


RC Lens are keeping themselves in the race for a European competition spot next season after securing a 1-0 win over Clermont Foot on Saturday night at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Lens wasted little time finding the opening goal as veteran forward Florian Sotoca scored on a penalty kick in the third minute. Clermont Foot's defense faced an onslaught of shots in the first 45 minutes as Franck Haise and his team registered 11 total shots as they looked for more goals after the terrific start to the game.

Despite facing a high number of shots in the first half, Les Lanciers' defense held firm and didn't allow another goal. Clermont Foot's attack only had three total shots in the first half, as they couldn't find the game-tying goal. 

In the second half, Lens believed they had sealed the deal with an insurance goal on two separate occasions, but both times the goals were disallowed. The first goal was nullified due to a VAR decision, and the second was called offside, so Les Sang et Or continued to hold onto a 1-0 advantage.

During the final 45 minutes, Lens recorded four shots, while Clermont Foot had five shots, resulting in a scoreless half. The outcome favored the home team, putting them within three points of fourth-place LOSC Lille. Lens also snapped a four-game winless streak that had led to them falling outside of the top five.

The loss isn't ideal for the visitors, who had secured points in three of their last four games. Pascal Gastien and his team will now need to watch the scoreboard to ensure FC Metz doesn't secure a win on Sunday in their matchup against Le Havre

Clermont Foot have four Ligue 1 games remaining to turn their situation around and avoid direct relegation as they trail Metz by four points for the playoff relegation spot. Next Sunday, Clermont Foot will host Stade de Reims at the Stade Gabriel-Montpied and the team needs a win to keep their hopes of remaining in France's top flight alive.

Lens also have four Ligue 1 games left and will travel to the Stade Vélodrome to face Olympique de Marseille. A road win for Lens can help them crack the top five, as the race for a European competition spot next season is going down to the wire. 

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