Lyon edge thriller
Yassine Benzia struck in injury-time to snatch a narrow 4-3 win for Lyon in a thrilling Europa League encounter.
Last Updated: 04/10/12 9:32pm
Yassine Benzia struck in injury-time to snatch a narrow 4-3 win for Lyon and deny Hapoel Kiryat Shmona a deserved point in a thrilling Europa League encounter.
Les Gones trailed to Shimon Abuhatzira's early goal but then put themselves in the driving seat thanks to Gueida Fofana, Fabian Monzon and Anthony Reveillere.
Kiryat Shmona hit back after the interval, however, through Lior Levi and a Abuhatzira penalty and they looked to have secured a draw until Benzia's late heroics.
Lyon had set the early pace in Group I with a 2-1 win over Sparta Prague a fortnight ago.
Israeli champions Kiryat Shmona began their campaign with a creditable 1-1 draw at last season's beaten finalists Athletic Bilbao, and they looked set to cause an upset tonight when they took the lead after eight minutes at the Kiryat Eliezer stadium.
Adrian Rochet set up the goal with a neat pass into the area which was drilled low into the net by Abuhatzira.
Lyon's response, however, was swift and emphatic.
Within nine minutes the scores were level thanks to Fofana's powerful 20-yard strike, and five minutes later Les Gones were in front.
Lisandro Lopez was brought down on the edge of the area by Saleh Hasarma and Monzon's subsequent free-kick snuck under the wall and goalkeeper Daniel Amos.
Lyon had found their rhythm now and it was 3-1 after 32 minutes with Reveillere proving accurate with his right foot from 10 yards.
However, Kiryat Shmona were in a no-nonsense mood after the interval and reduced the deficit six minutes into the second half with Levi planting his shot in the top right corner.
It was proving to be an enthralling contest for the crowd and they were brought to their feet once more when the hosts equalised after 66 minutes.
Bakary Kone's challenge in the area on Itkhak Cohen resulted in a penalty, which was hammered home by Abuhatzira for his second of the night.
The Israeli hosts seemed to have done enough for a share of the spoils with that goal, but Lyon inflicted injury-time misery on them when Benzia met a corner from Fofana and stabbed the ball home from close range.