By Sports Reporter
FRANCE-BASED Warriors star Tino Kadewere could realise his dream of playing in the UEFA Champions League after he played a crucial role as his side Olympique Lyon beat close rivals Monaco 3-2 in a French Ligue 1 match to enhance their chances of featuring in Europe’s elite club competition next season.
The 25-year-old Zimbabwe international forward, who recently recovered from a thigh injury, was introduced at the break with his team trailing 1-0 before they turned it around in the second half despite playing with 10 men.
Lyon’s Dutch skipper Memphis Depay, Marcelo, and Rayan Cherki scored the crucial goals which secured an important win for Lyon while Kevin Volland and Wissam Ben Yedder scored for Monaco who went into the match at their Stade Louis II as favourites.
Lyon finished the game with 10 men as midfielder Maxence Caqueret was sent off after he was shown a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining.
Kadewere was also booked in the 72nd minute while four more players from both sides were red-carded following a post-match brawl.
Lyon’s Marcelo, Mattia de Sciglio, along with Willem Geubbels and Pietro Pellegri from Monaco, received red cards for their involvement in the commotion.
Lyon now have 70 points in the fourth spot, one point behind third-placed Monaco, who currently occupy the remaining Champions League slot. Lille are still sitting on top with 76 points, with three rounds of play remaining.
Lyon’s away form might just see them sneak into the Champions League qualification places before the end of the campaign.
Les Gones have not lost a Ligue 1 game on the road in 16 games. Their last defeat away from the Groupama stadium came back in September when they were edged 2-1 at Montpellier.
If Lyon qualifies for the Champions League it would be a dream come true for Kadewere who earlier this season revealed his ambition to play in the prestigious competition.
“The goal is to play in the Champions League. I’ve already taken a step forward with OL. It’s a very big club. I am very happy to be here. I play with very good players. We have a good relationship, we are like a family. I have to stay focused,” he told the club’s website earlier this season.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s other representative in the French Ligue 1, Marshall Munetsi, has also returned from injury and was part of the Stade de Reims starting eleven in the 2-2 draw with Nimes.
The 24-year old, who has been playing in central defence of late, had missed Reims 1-3 defeat to Marseille last week due to a tendonitis injury.