Joseph Okumu on target as Reims drop points against Lyon

STARS ABROAD Joseph Okumu on target as Reims drop points against Lyon

Festus Chuma 08:00 - 31.03.2024

Harambee Stars defender Joseph Okumu scored his first Ligue 1 goal on Saturday night marking a pivotal moment in Reims' intense draw against Olympique Lyonnais.

Kenya international Joseph Okumu was on target, scoring his first Ligue 1 goal, as Stade de Reims were held to a gripping 1-1 draw by Olympique Lyonnais on a chilly Saturday night at the Groupama Stadium. 

The fixture, marked by its intensity and a tale of two halves, saw Okumu etching his name into the scoresheet, marking a significant milestone since his summer move to the French top-flight from KAA Gent.

In what unfolded as a tactical chess match between the two sides, the first half of the game was characterized by cautious play, with neither team able to break the deadlock.

Lyon, despite their dominance in possession and having eight shots, failed to find the target in the first 45 minutes. 

Reims, on the other hand, managed a solitary shot on goal from their four attempts, hinting at a more conservative approach away from home.

The narrative took a dramatic turn in the second half when Okumu, towering in defense,ventured forward and found the back of the net in the 55th minute, sending the visiting fans into raptures. 

The Kenyan defender's goal broke the stalemate giving Reims a precious lead. However, their joy was short-lived as Lyon's bench provided the spark needed to draw level. 

Substitute Ernest Nuamah, replacing Rayan Cherki, emerged as the catalyst, scoring the equalizer in the 65th minute, setting up a tense finish to the match.

As the game opened up, both teams increased their offensive forays, with Lyon and Reims registering eight and thirteen shots respectively in the second half. 

The goalkeepers, Anthony Lopes of Lyon and Yehvann Diouf of Reims, became increasingly pivotal, pulling off crucial saves to keep the scoreline even.

The draw, however, does little to alter the ambitions of both clubs. Reims, under the guidance of Will Still, finds itself in a precarious position in its quest for European football next season, trailing fifth-place OGC Nice by four points.

 Lyon, nestled comfortably in mid-table, edges further away from relegation worries but continues to seek consistency in their performances.

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