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Football: Rennes strike at death to claim derby draw

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Teenager Axel Ngando enjoyed a fairytale introduction to top-flight football on Saturday as his stoppage-time strike handed Rennes a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Brittany rivals Lorient.

Lorient looked set to beat their more illustrious regional rivals for the second time this season when former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere put them 2-1 up with a stunning strike from 20 yards that arrowed into the top corner of the net.

But Ngando stabbed home a Jean II Makoun knockdown from close range a minute into injury time to earn Rennes a point that keeps them provisionally fourth, two points above Lorient in the table.

Ngando, 19, had replaced Romain Alessandrini with a minute to play and the goal came from his first touch in France's top flight.

It was a remarkable finish to a flowing encounter in which Lorient held a deserved half-time lead thanks to Yann Jouffre's strike just after the half-hour mark.

However, Turkish international Mevlut Erding missed two glorious chances to draw Rennes level before making it third time lucky when he rounded goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte to net after the home defence had failed to deal with a long ball forward.

Aliadiere's ninth of a productive campaign, with 10 minutes remaining, would have been a fitting winner until Ngando popped up.

After the match Rennes boss Frederic Antonetti, who was sent to the stands early in the second half by referee Bartolomeu Varela, was critical of the league's decision to appoint a Brittany-based official for the fixture.

"To assign a referee with Brittany roots in a derby is a mistake. It's fun at the start, but I know having been at Rennes for almost four years that he inevitably has a preference for one side or another. I didn't know what (the referee's) inclination was before the match, I think I know it after," said Antonetti.

Elsewhere, Bordeaux climbed a spot to fourth with David Bellion and Ludovic Obraniak scoring for Francis Gillot's side in a 2-0 win over Valenciennes.

Fabien Lemoine struck a 77th-minute winner to hand Saint-Etienne a 2-1 victory at Sochaux after Edouard Butin had cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal for the visitors.

Nemanja Pejcinovic was on target for Nice, while Brest's Brahim Ferradji put through his own net in a 2-0 win for Claude Puel's men.

Seventeen-year-old Divock Origi netted his first senior goal to salvage a point for Lille at home to struggling Troyes after Fabien Camus had opened for the scoring, while Bastia against Evian ended goalless.

On Friday, Paris Saint-Germain celebrated David Beckham's arrival in the French capital by romping to a 4-0 win at 10-man Toulouse to strengthen their position at the top of the table.

Javier Pastore, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mamadou Sakho and Gregory van der Wiel were all on target at Le Stadium as Carlo Ancelotti's men moved three points clear of Lyon, who go to Ajaccio on Sunday, while third-placed Marseille entertain bottom club Nancy.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130202/football-rennes-strike-at-death-claim-derby-draw