MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, August 24, 2020
French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 got underway over the weekend and a pair of Americans saw action with Nicholas Gioacchini and Patrick Koffi seeing game time for Caen and Paris FC respectively.
Clermont Foot 0-0 Caen
Twenty-year-old Nicholas Gioacchini got the nod for Caen in their Ligue 2 season opener but neither team could find the back of the net, thus ending the contest with just a point as they travelled to Gabriel Montpied Stadium.
The Clermont gang could have taken advantage of a half decent chance in the first half but Rémy Riou made a sweet save off of Cedric Hountondji's effort. This was the only action noteworthy before the intermission. Things did improve though in the second half and both keepers put in very good performances. Clermont's Arthur Desmas denied Yacine Bammou at the 55th minute mark and then did the same to Anthony Gonçalves's a dozen minutes later.
Riou made another superb save when he took care of Nsimba's shot that was creeping up into the top shelf. Caen's Kansas City native put in a decent 83-minute shift.
The Vikings of Normandy will head do Dunkirk over the weekend and hope for a better result than the British back in 1940.
OSC Lille opened their season at home against Stade Rennes. Tim Weah is still recovering from injury so he did not take part in this game that saw the Dogues take a first half lead but then give up a 74th minute equalizer. Sacha Boey was shown red ten minutes before the half, leaving the visitors down a man. That was only temporary, however, because Lille saw Reinildo Mandava sent off eight minutes later. Jordan Siebatcheu did not make the team sheet either for the Red and Blacks.
Next up for Lille is a weekend trip to Reims, in the French Champagne region, while Rennes welcomes Montpelier to Brittany.
American teenager Patrick Koffi came off the bench in the 71st minute along with Florian Martin, for Paris FC against Chambly. The Parisians were up 1-0 at the time. Two minutes later the lead was doubled, thanks to Martin. The Texan must have gotten carried away because in the 88th minute he was shown a straight red card. Being a man down didn't stop Martin from scoring his second in stoppage time, as the other team from the French capital collected all the points.
They will play their first home game on Saturday when they welcome their northern neighbors, Valenciennes. Koffi will be sitting this one out obviously, and the next one as well.