Govou on target to thwart plucky Liberec

Olympique Lyonnais 1 Slovan Liberec 1
Click to follow

Substitute Sidney Govou spared Lyon's blushes with a last–gasp equaliser at the Stade Gerland in the first–leg of their fourth round UEFA Cup match last night.

A Jiri Stajner penalty was all that separated the two sides for almost all of the game after he converted from the spot on 15 minutes.

But the home side pushed hard for the equaliser in the second half and but for the woodwork and some excellent saves by Antonin Kinsky in the Liberec goal could have equalised long before the 89th–minute.

Liberec will count themselves unlucky not to have pulled off a famous victory in France and given this display will be clear favourites for the return leg.

Lyon were lucky to survive a penalty appeal after only two minutes when striker Stajner seemed to be brought down by Lyon goalkeeper Gregory Coupet.

It was second time lucky for the visitors 13 minutes later though, when dangerman Stajner was brought down by Patrick Muller and the centre–forward stepped up to convert from the spot.

Les Gones gradually worked their way back into the game, and but for some poor finishing by Pegguy Luyindula and a narrow miss from a Juninho free–kick they could have ended the first half level.

The home side started the second half much brighter, and came close inside the opening minutes.

On the hour Juninho, who worked tirelessly with Eric Carriere in midfield the whole game, saw his shot hit the bar and bounce invitingly up for Luyindula only for his effort to be deflected away by Vaclav Kolousek.

But Les Gones were eventually rewarded for their persistence when Govou, on for Luyindula, popped up in front of Kinsky to finish off an excellent midfield move by Carriere.