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French Recap: Balogun Penalty Saves Point for Reims

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Reims appeared to be heading for defeat, but a spot-kick from Folarin Balogun did the job as they salvaged a point against Brest to keep them in contention for a European place next season.

Reims 1-1 Brest

Folarin Balogun came to the rescue of Reims as his stoppage-time goal from the spot helped to a share of the points against Brest at Stade Auguste-Delaune II to give him 18 on the season.

The loanee started and played the full 90, completing 56 percent of his passes and winning a duel along with two shots on target.

The hosts would find themselves behind after just six minutes when Brest’s midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou was left unmarked to head in a pinpoint cross from Jeremy Le Douaron.

After the slow start, Reims started to find their rhythm and Balogun nearly came close to leveling the score minutes later when he was initially denied a goal when the ball bounced off the crossbar and goalkeeper Marco Bizot, while his follow-up attempt went just wide of the target.

Reims came out more aggressive in the second and former U.S. national team consideration Jens Cajuste nearly found the back of the net just minutes in when his strike rolled wide of the post.

Brest appeared to be on their way to victory when the hosts received the lifeline they needed at the end of regulation when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Arber Zeneli was brought down in the box by Kenny Lala following an attempt at goal. After a review by the video assistant referee it was confirmed leaving the Arsenal loanee to have the final say in the game.

The 21-year-old made no mistake as he fired his shot past Bizot to the cheers of the Reims’ supporters.

Reims have moved up to eighth place in the Ligue 1 standings with 47 points, five away from a spot in European competition.


Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Erik Palmer-Brown went the distance for Troyes as they inched closer to relegation following a 2-0 defeat to Clermont.

Tim Weah started for Lille as they fell in a shock 1-0 loss to last-place Angers.


Kenya Brown

Born in America, but raised in Europe and Asia, Kenya has loved soccer ever since his parents put a ball at his feet. While covering some of the top U.S. players around Europe, he loves putting the spotlight on players who are based in leagues off the beaten path. He also interviews coaches and other people in the game to gain more insight.

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