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Lille catch AEK cold

Thursday, 25 November 2004

By Vassiliki Papantonopoulou at Spyros Louis Stadium

[1] Goals in each half from Milivoje Vitakic and Matthieu Debuchy on a freezing night in Athens earned LOSC Lille M├ętropole their second straight victory in UEFA Cup Group H and left AEK Athens FC still without a point.

Lille top

[2] Vitakic opened the scoring before Debuchy put the UEFA Intertoto Cup winners on course for victory with the second 18 minutes after the restart. Kofi Amponsah pulled one back, but a series of missed opportunities cost AEK as Lille moved clear at the top.

Vitakic opener

[3] After an even opening period, Lille took the lead on 26 minutes with their first real opportunity. Sotirios Konstantinidis failed to clear, gifting St├ęphane Dumont a chance, and though Chrisostomos Mihailidis saved his shot, he could not prevent Vitakic knocking in the rebound.

Sylva saves

[4] AEK charged forward after the goal. On 35 minutes, Nikos Lyberopoulos and Konstantinidis linked up to provide Asimakis Krassas with a chance, but he headed over. Konstantinos Katsouranis then showed too much of the ball to Tony Sylva and the goalkeeper saved, before Lyberopoulos went close with a free-kick in stoppage time.

Debuchy drive

[5] The second half began in the same vein. AEK enjoyed plenty of possession but could not make the most of it, coming closest on 59 minutes when a Katsouranis header struck the left post. AEK's frustrations grew when Lille scored their second moments later, Debuchy beating Mihailidis with a fierce right-footed drive from distance.

AEK reply

[6] AEK rallied and Amponsah converted a simple chance after 72 minutes to give them fresh hope. A sweeping move nearly produced an equaliser with a minute left, but Alessandro Soares' header hit the crossbar. AEK face a difficult trip to Sevilla FC on Matchday 4 while Lille complete their campaign against the Spanish side on 15 December.

Milivoje Vitakic celebrates scoring Lille's first