SPORTS

Olympiakos humbled by up-and-coming Lille

LENS (Reuters) – Lille collected its first-ever victory in the Champions League when it beat Olympiakos 3-1 in their Group G game late Tuesday. The French team, who two years ago was playing second division football, started the game strongly and held the upper hand throughout in front of a 40,000 capacity crowd. Lille had to play in neighboring Lens because its home ground of Grimonprez-Jooris does not meet UEFA requirements. Striker Bagui Bakari blasted the ball past goalkeeper Dimitris Eleftheropoulos to net the opener in the 33rd minute. Midfielder Bruno Cheyrou volleyed in the second 11 minutes later and substitute Gregory Tafforeau sealed victory 12 minutes from time. Olympiakos, which has won five successive Greek league titles, saved some pride in the last minute with a goal from Stelios Yiannakopoulos. In the end it was nice to play in front of 40,000 people and not just for our 15,000 supporters, coach Vahid Halilodzic said. It was great to live such an event in front of so many people. We had the feeling that all the north of France and maybe even all France were behind us. Halilodzic, a former Yugoslav international who spent most of his playing career in France, said his team’s stubborn resistance until the 90th minute against Manchester United last week had boosted confidence. We discovered we were able to do well against one of the best teams in the world, he said. We had great respect for Olympiakos but I knew we were going to win after 15 minutes because we were dominating in midfield. The result leaves Olympiakos at the bottom of Group G with one point from two games. Lille has three points from its two matches.