Soccer-Bahoken's first two goals lift Nice up to fifth

PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) - Stephane Bahoken celebrated his maiden Ligue 1 start with his first two goals as Nice gave a boost to their Champions League bid with a 2-0 home victory over Montpellier on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Bahoken, who had not featured in a league game since September and had made only 10 league appearances since his debut two years ago, put the home team ahead in the 12th minute from close range from Eric Bautheac's cross.

He doubled the lead 12 minutes later, tapping the ball in after Luigi Bruins hit the post. Victory lifted Nice up to fifth, level with fourth-placed St Etienne on 48 points.

Both sides are one point behind Olympique Marseille, who occupy the third and last Champions League qualifying berth and visit second-placed Olympique Lyon, on 52, later on Sunday.

Paris St Germain top the table with 57 after they defeated bottom club Nancy 2-1 at home on Saturday thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 23rd and 24th league goals.

Champions Montpellier stay seventh with 44 points. (Reporting by Gregory Blachier; editing by Martyn Herman)