Sankhare earns Guingamp a point
Younousse Sankhare's spectacular second-half strike earned Guingamp a 1-1 draw at Valenciennes.
Last Updated: 07/12/13 10:00pm
Younousse Sankhare denied Valenciennes the victory that would have put them within touching distance of Ligue 1 safety when his spectacular second-half strike earned Guingamp an away point.
After just two wins from their opening 16 games, Valenciennes are toiling through the campaign but had a rare win in sight when Tongo Doumbia headed in during the early stages.
They held off Guingamp until the 70th minute when Sankhare produced a sumptuous overhead kick to make it 1-1, a scoreline that stood to the final whistle.
Valenciennes had the first chance of the contest when David Ducourtioux released Saliou Ciss and the defender's firm right-footed shot was turned away by goalkeeper Guy N'Dy Assembe.
N'Dy Assembe was caught out in the 17th minute though when Maor Melikson's free-kick from the left was headed on by Gary Kagelmacher to Doumbia who from close range could hardly miss and duly nodded in.
Guingamp's Lionel Mathis created a chance for the visitors shortly before the half-hour mark when he played in Steeven Langil and the midfielder fired inches over the crossbar.
Valenciennes had an opening in the 48th minute from which they might have stretched their lead, when Arthur Masuaku crossed from the right crossed to Doumbia. The ball deflected off Jean-Christophe Bahebeck before reaching Doumbia but the scorer of the first goal could not repeat his earlier achievement and N'Dy Assembe blocked his left-footed shot from 10 yards.
Mid-table Guingamp began to dominate, the pressure on the home defence escalating.
Langil freed Cedric Faure inside the penalty area and after controlling the ball with his chest he volleyed purposefully at goal but found Nicolas Penneteau in position to make a fine save.
Ladislas Douniama was the next to threaten, after Jeremy Sorbon found him in the penalty area from where his shot, another volley, went inches wide of Penneteau's goal.
Sankhare did rather better when his chance came, volleying in with an overhead kick to beat Penneteau after a one-two with Christophe Mandanne.
Valenciennes would have been two points from safety with a win but stand four adrift instead, while Guingamp remain in mid-table security, neither making a concerted challenge for the European places nor in any obvious danger.