Okumu grit not enough as Reims stumble again

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STARS ABROAD Okumu grit not enough as Reims stumble again

Festus Chuma 09:30 - 12.02.2024

Okumu's resilient performance for Reims falls short against Lorient's pressure in crucial match with significant implications.

Kenya international Joseph Okumu clocked in an impressive 73 minutes for Stade de Reims as they faced a tough challenge against Lorient in a French Ligue 1 clash played at Stade du Moustoir - Yves Allainmat.

Despite Okumu's efforts, Reims found themselves unable to halt their winless streak, now stretching to three matches. 

The match held high stakes for both teams, with Lorient desperately seeking to distance themselves from relegation and Reims eyeing a chance to climb up the table towards European contention.

In what seemed like a David versus Goliath encounter on paper, the reality on the pitch was far from lopsided.

Both teams matched each other shot for shot, with each registering five shots on target, displaying a fierce determination to secure victory regardless of their respective standings.

The first half ended in a stalemate, setting the stage for a second-half showdown where Lorient seized upon their home advantage to break the deadlock. 

Mohamed Baba provided Lorient with the breakthrough they needed in the 70th minute, putting them ahead on the scoreboard. 

Just moments later, Okumu made way for Emmanuel Agbadou as Reims sought to reshuffle their tactics in response to Lorient's relentless pressure.

However, Lorient was not done yet as in the 87th minute, Tiemoue Bakayoko extended their lead, effectively sealing their 2-0 victory and crucial three points in their battle against relegation.

While Lorient remains entrenched in the relegation zone, this hard-fought win brings them within touching distance of escaping it, now just one point away.

 On the other hand, Reims finds themselves rooted in ninth place, still in the mix of mid-table competition but falling short of their aspirations for European qualification.

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