Chapter 8: We reap what we Sow.
Those close to me that knew what I had been going through in the past few days would think the team could have resented a bit in their upcoming performances, but I made sure they were well kept out of all of the non-football related endavour. I wanted them to stay sharp and concentrated on the main objectives, as our first big game against Elfsborg was coming up; and at stake the Europa League competition which would showcase our new talents to the world, and more importantly let these youngsters taste some international competition and gain true football experience for the years to come.
We were ready for this qualifier...
We started off with a flyer as ball-playing defender Denis Linsmayer gave Olympique Lyonnais the lead with a well timed finish from close range in the 38th minute. An error from Elfsborg's Kevin Stuhr Ellegaard allowed winger Nabil Fèkir to score a well executed finish. Mechele scored with a close range range finish which was timed impeccably in the 53rd minute to extend the lead further.
With Elfsborg staring at defeat, there was controversy as experienced full-back Eduardo de Moraes then had a penalty shout turned down. Despite a comfortable lead, Olympique Lyonnais will be unhappy that Mechele was sent off for persistent fouling on 88 minutes.
An error from Olympique Lyonnais' Samuel Umtiti allowed advanced playmaker Rafael Soeiro to score a close range finish which was timed impeccably.
Things did not get off to a good start for Racing Club de Lens as winger Yassine Benzia seized on an error by Ahmed Kantari to score an accurate finish from inside the penalty area. Mexico Under 20s captain Jonathan Espericueta doubled Olympique Lyonnais' lead with a 19 yard free kick on the 27th minute.
Kerim Koyunlu scored with an incisive finish from 12 yards in the 41st minute to extend the lead further. An error from Racing Club de Lens' Ahmed Kantari allowed enthusiastic midfielder Jordan Veretout to score an audacious lob. When Xavier gave away a penalty, Valdivia confidently stepped up to score from the spot. An error from Racing Club de Lens' Jèrome Le Moigne allowed Benzia to score a nice effort from 14 yards, his second of the game.
As the 2nd leg begun, winger Clifford Aboagye gave Olympique Lyonnais the lead with a good finish from close range in the 24th minute. Winger Nabil Fèkir doubled Olympique Lyonnais' lead with a placed shot in the 43rd minute.
Aboagye added to his 2nd goal of the game with a well timed close range finish on 53 minutes. An error from Elfsborg's Lasse Nilsson allowed central defender Gèrman Pezzella to score a well timed finish from close range. Aboagye had no trouble in scoring from the spot when Roger conceeded a penalty, allowing him the hat-trick. An error from Elfsborg's Henning Hauger allowed deep-lying playmaker Sanjin Prcic to score a tidy finish from 15 yards. An error from Elfsborg's Emir Ekelundh allowed Aboagye to score his 4th goal, a well timed finish from close range. Advanced playmaker
Rafael Soeiro pulled one back for Elfsborg after 87 minutes with a well timed range finish.
Winger Clifford Aboagye got Olympique Lyonnais off to a flyer by scoring a long range effort on the 6th minute. FC Metz were nearly gifted a goal on 32 minutes through Denis Linsmayer's lapse in concentration but they failed to capitalise on the opportunity presented to them.
Central defender Jèremy Choplin then equalised for FC Metz in the 32nd minute with a good header from just inside the six-yard box through a set piece. Mexico Under 20s captain Jonathan Espericueta then put Olympique Lyonnais back in front after 33 minutes with a 20 yard free kick, a specialty of his.
Choplin equalised for FC Metz after 54 minutes with a thumping header. Unfortunately, Olympique Lyonnais' Pezzella was forced off by inury on the 78th minute.
OL handed tough Europa League Group Draw
As we gain Europa League qualification against Elfsborg on a 2-10 aggregate score our group becomes revealed to us; APOEL, Everton, and Rostov - not exactly a walk in the park. The lads didn't look frightened at all, they seem to relish the challenge against these teams, and that made me very proud; my fearless mentality was being assimiliated little by little...
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