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French Recap: In a Battle of the Yanks, Balogun Triumphs over Weah

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Reims 1 – 0 Lille

In this battle of the Yanks of Ligue 1, it was Folarin Balogun and 10th place Stade de Reims who came out on top thanks to a solitary goal hit by Marshall Munetsi half way through the first half. The American born Arsenal loanee started and put in an 85 minute shift. On the other side of the field, Tim Weah came off the bench and into the action in the 63rd minute.

Young Balogun had an early chance to add to his 18 goal tally but when he entered the box, Lille’s shot stopper closed him down and forced the shot to go wide. He also had a second chance in the 21st minute but although on the six yard line, he managed to hit it against the crossbar. Fortunately the ball fell kindly for Munetsi and the Zimbabwean didn’t miss. It was only his seventh league goal but it was enough to secure the victory.

Next up for the Weah and the Dogues will be a long trip south to take on fourth place Monaco. Meanwhile, Reims will travel northwest to take on a very in form Lens, who find themselves just a half dozen points behind league leaders PSG.

Troyes 1 – 3 PSG

Going the full 90 minutes in the ESTAC defense, Erik Palmer-Brown had his hands full, going up French star Kylian Mbappe and his defending French champions at Stade de l’Aube on Sunday night.

It was Mbappe who struck first and struck early in the game, netting his 24th goal of the season after just eight minutes into the game. The hosts played a better first half after the goal but the second half started pretty much the same as the first. Fourteen minutes after the intermission PSG was celebrating again. Portuguese midfielder Vitinha found a bit of luck after his header was saved but fortune was on his side and the ball bounced off of him and across the goal line.

Troyes did fight back and found an 83rd minute goal when Pape Ndiga Yade picked out Xavier Chavalerin in the middle of the box and the Frenchman got his head to the ball before Italian keeper Donnarumma could get a hand to it.

The champions restored their two goal cushion late on when Renato Sanches sent the ball to Mbappe. The Frenchman pulled the trigger but his effort was saved by Gauthier Gallon. The knock-away only made its way towards Fabian Ruiz who rushed at the ball and hit a curler into the back of the net.

Troyes, who will be spending next season in Ligue 2, will next travel to Brittany to take on Rennes.


Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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