Overseas Football: Marseille struggling to regain their touch

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MARSEILLE, the European champions, again looked sluggish when they were held at home to a 1-1 draw by moderate Le Havre on Saturday, while Nantes went top of the French League with their third successive win, by 3-0 away to Toulouse.

The French champions went ahead after 28 minutes through a superb header by the defender Basile Boli, the hero of Munich last May, but the Senegalese Ibrahim Ba equalised a minute later to leave Marseille three points adrift of the leaders.

Nantes had a brace from Nicolas Ouedec and one from the Nigerian Samson Siasia to thank for their comfortable victory. Paris St Germain, who purport to be a strong challenger, looked as unimpressive as Marseille in their 2-2 draw at Strasbourg.

The Colombian Adolfo Valencia, acquired during the summer to add fire-power to Bayern Munich's attack, did just that with a double strike in their 3-1 win against the newly promoted SC Freiburg on the opening day of the German season. Olaf Marschall went one better on his debut, scoring all Dynamo Dresden's goals in the 3-3 draw at VfB Leipzig.

MSV Duisburg, another newcomer, fared rather better, drawing 2-2 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, an obvious title contender.

Zambia, playing their first match since an air disaster in April resulted in the deaths of their national team, played a goalless draw with Senegal in a World Cup qualifier in Abidjan. The Zambians, whose new team have an average age of 21, failed to take their chances. They trail the group leaders Morocco by one point from one fewer game.