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Balogun’s first goal for Monaco not enough as Lorient earns draw

Folarin Balogun Folarin Balogun - The Canadian Press

PARIS (AP) — United States forward Folarin Balogun's first goal for Monaco was not enough as the league leader conceded a last-gasp equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Lorient on Sunday.

Monaco is only one point ahead of Brest, which moved up to second place after rallying to win 2-1 at Reims. Midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou grabbed the winner in the 56th minute.

Balogun scored in the 69th after Aleksandr Golovin picked him out in the penalty area and he held off a defender before finishing with his left foot.

The 22-year-old Balogun joined Monaco from Premier League side Arsenal for 40 million euros ($43.6 million), after scoring 21 league goals in the first division last season on loan to Reims. But Romain Faivre equalized for Lorient in the seventh minute of injury time.

After Benin striker Aiyegun Tosin fired Lorient ahead in the second minute with his first goal for the club, Golovin equalized in the 17th with midfielder Youssouf Fofana setting him up.

Former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy came on for Lorient in the 70th. The left back, who won the World Cup with France in 2018, signed a two-year deal with Lorient in July, after he was found not guilty of raping a woman and the attempted rape of another. He had not played for City since 2021.

Marseille remains unbeaten but failed to pressure Monaco after drawing 0-0 at home to Toulouse. The result leaves Marseille in fourth place on goal difference behind third-place Nice and one point behind Brest.

Marseille's players were thwarted in attack.

Veteran striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a shot saved in the first half and midfielder Valentin Rongier hit the post early in the second half, before right back Jonathan Clauss struck the top of the crossbar with a late free kick.

Also, Nigeria winger Moses Simon scored the winner as Nantes won 1-0 at Clermont. Strasbourg fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Montpellier, which had an injury-time goal from midfielder Khalil Fayad ruled out following a video review.

In the late game, struggling Lyon drew 0-0 with promoted Le Havre in Lyon's first match since parting ways with coach Laurent Blanc. Seven-time French champion Lyon has two points from five games and is 16th in the 18-team league.

Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain lost 3-2 at home to Nice on Friday.

PSG is fifth and hosts Marseille next Sunday.


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