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Sevilla held by Lens at home in group stage of Champions League

Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos - The Canadian Press

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Sevilla couldn't manage more than a 1-1 draw with Lens in their opening match of Group B in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Lucas Ocampos put the hosts ahead with a header in the ninth minute. Angelo Fulgini equalized for the French club with a powerful free-kick strike in the 24th at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

“We played better than they did,” Ocampos said. “But these games are difficult. There’s a reason they are in the Champions League, they are a great team.”

Sevilla was coming off its first win of the season in a match against Las Palmas in the Spanish league on Sunday. Lens was winless in its last five matches, with four losses and a draw.

“My goal did us a lot of good because I think if we didn’t equalize so soon we would have struggled,” Fulgini said. “The goal came at a good time. The free kick came off for me and we can be pleased today.”

Former Spain and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos made his 138th Champions League appearance, the first with Sevilla.

Sevilla is making its fourth straight Champions League appearance. It was eliminated in the group stage the last two seasons.

Lens, last place in the French league, was making its third Champions League appearance and first in the group stage in 21 years. It didn't advance to the knockout rounds both in 1998-99 and 2002-03. It had last played a match in a European competition in 2007.

Arsenal defeated PSV Eindhoven at home in the other Group B match on Wednesday.

In the next round, Lens hosts Arsenal and Sevilla visits PSV Eindhoven.


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