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Youssouf puts Bordeaux in the driver's seat

Publish on 27/07/2018 at 11h30

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Girondins de Bordeaux won away to FK Ventspils in the first match of their UEFA Europa League campaign, Zaydou Youssouf's early free-kick enough for a 1-0 win in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie with the Latvian club.

Gustavo Poyet's Girondins de Bordeaux got the job done away to FK Ventspils on Thursday, taking an option on progression to the next round thanks to a direct free-kick from youngster Zaydou Youssouf in the third minute.

Maiden strike

The left-footed curler was the 19-year-old's first goal for the club and set Poyet's men on their way to dominate the game and claim a solid win in their first competitive match of the season after going unbeaten in four pre-season friendlies that included a 2-1 win over AS Saint-Etienne.

"The most important thing was to leave here with a win, and we did that. My free-kick? The wind helped me a bit. I was initially going to cross the ball but I saw the 'keeper's positioning and told myself that if I focused well and hit it right, it might go in. I gave it my all and it hit the back of the net, which was great for me and for the team. I'm really very happy. I've been at this club since I was a kid, so it was really important to me to score my first goal, and it just happened to come in the Europa League."

Meanwhile Poyet had measured praise for his side.

"We had to watch out for counter-attacks and we did really well with that," explained the Bordeaux boss after the handy win. "It wasn't easy; it was pretty hot and everyone felt very slow. It wasn't an easy match to play so I'm really happy for the lads - and also for the fans who travelled here from Bordeaux. It wasn't easy to get here. I think we were good - not fantastic - but that's fine. It was enough."

Long and winding road...

Should Bordeaux emerge victorious from the return leg at the MATMUT Atlantique on Thursday 2 August, they will take on the winner of Swedish side Djurgardens IF and Ukrainians FC Mariupol in the third qualifying round. Victory in that tie will leave them with a play-off tie between them and a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.