26.01.2020 19:09 h

Toko Ekambi scores on Lyon debut as clubs remember Sala

Toko Ekambi (l.)
Toko Ekambi (l.)

Karl Toko Ekambi scored on his Lyon debut Sunday in a 3-0 victory over bottom club Toulouse while Nantes and Bordeaux paid tribute to their former striker Emiliano Sala, a year after his death in a plane crash.

Ivory Coast international Maxwel Cornet opened the scoring on the half-hour for Lyon before Moussa Dembele prodded in a second on 71 minutes at Groupama Stadium.

Cameroon striker Toko Ekambi, who joined on loan this week from Villarreal until the end of the season, sealed the victory six minutes later as Lyon climbed up to fifth in Ligue 1.

Toko Ekambi came on as a first-half substitute after a scary incident involving France Under-21 forward Martin Terrier.

Terrier was stretchered off after fainting on the pitch, but Lyon said at half-time that the player had regained consciousness.

Sixteen-year-old Rayan Cherki also made a brief appearance off the bench, having scored twice and provided two assists in a 4-3 French Cup win over Nantes last weekend.

Nantes and Bordeaux honoured Argentine forward Sala before an emotional Derby de l'Atlantique at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Bordeaux won 1-0 courtesy of a late goal by Jimmy Briand as Nantes played most the second half with 10 men after the dismissal of Andrei Girotto.

The 28-year-old Sala was killed last January when the small plane taking him to join Cardiff City after being bought from Nantes for £15 million ($19.5 million, 17.6 million euros) crashed off the Channel island of Guernsey.

Nantes wore a special white and pale blue shirt inspired by Argentina while Bordeaux's kit featured an Argentine flag beneath the club crest flanked by the player's initials.

Proceeds from the sales of the strips will go to the two Argentine clubs Sala played for in his youth.

A portrait of Sala was also displayed in the centre circle during the warm-up and there was a minute's applause ahead of kick-off.

Supporters laid flowers outside the ground and broke out into a song commemorating Sala in the ninth minute, representing the shirt number worn by the player which has since been retired by Nantes.

Sala left his homeland to join Bordeaux in 2012 and then played for Nantes between 2015 and 2019.

League leaders Paris Saint-Germain visit last year's runners-up Lille in Sunday's late game.

PSG could stretch their advantage over Marseille to 10 points with victory, although Thomas Tuchel's side lost 5-1 on their last trip to Lille in April. That remains PSG's worst league defeat since 2000.

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