Sochaux grab vital point
Ten-man Sochaux moved out of the relegation zone after coming from behind to claim a battling 1-1 draw against Lille.
Last Updated: 08/12/12 10:58pm
Ten-man Sochaux moved out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone after coming from behind to claim a battling draw against Lille.
The mid-table visitors, who have been somewhat off the pace this season after finishing third in the last campaign, had several chances to take the lead but it was not until the 62nd minute that they went ahead through Nolan Roux.
Sochaux hit back immediately through Tunisia international Yassin Mikari, although they had to hang on in the closing stages after Loic Poujol was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The point moves them out of the drop zone and into 16th, although they remain level on points with the two teams - Ajaccio and Evian - immediately below them.
That they were on level terms at the interval was largely due to superb defending, from Poujol in particular, and poor finishing from Lille's forwards.
Marvin Martin had the first chance but his low volley was deflected away by Poujol while Dimitri Payet ran through on goal but hesitated at the crucial time to allow Brazil defender Carlao to make a vital interception.
The one-way traffic continued and Sochaux goalkeeper Simon Pouplin was forced into action for the first time, palming away after Roux had been allowed to control and shoot from the edge of the area.
Payet collected the ball from Martin and his strike was only just deflected onto the roof of the net by Poujol and Ronny Rodelin narrowly fired over from just outside the box.
Lille were nearly punished for their profligacy after the interval when Yaya Banana's header from Ryad Boudebouz's free-kick forced a smart save from goalkeeper Steeve Elana.
And the visitors responded in the best possible fashion by taking the lead just after the hour mark when they broke down the right, with Benoit Pedretti freeing Roux, who excellently fired into the top corner, leaving Pouplin with no chance.
Having seen his side work so hard to get into the lead, Lille boss Rudi Garcia would have been tearing his hair out after watching them concede a minute later.
Mikari collected a long ball from Boudebouz and fooled Elana to send the ball into an empty net.
Lille nearly re-took the lead in fortuitous circumstances but Pouplin was alert to Payet's cross-cum-shot from the right.
Sochaux's task of keeping the scores level were undermined when Poujol saw red for a second bookable offence but the hosts managed to hold on.