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OM take chances in friendly draw20 jul 2012 Par
It was another experimental OM side that took to the pitch for this third pre-season friendly match. Once again, Elie Baup showed his confidence in the young players from the youth academy for this match against Nîmes at the Stade des Costières. However, one should also note that the internationals (N’koulou, Valbuena, Mandanda, J. Ayew, Kaboré and Mbia) only resumed training after the holidays last Monday and were, hence, not available for this game.
Five youngsters started the game alongside the likes of Gignac, Fanni and Cheyrou. In the first half the Olympians lacked enough of a cutting edge to worry the Crocodiles' defence. The locals sat deep and provided a solid defensive foundation from which to hit on the counterattack. Benezet, Koné and Haddou were all lively down the flanks in the lead up work towards the OM goal. Victor Zvunka's side carved out the best chances of the opening period, but it was Marseille that took their chances. A 35th-minute substitute at the expense of Ammari, summer signing Raspentino broke down the right and crossed for Gignac who got rid ofg his marker and headed home beyond Merville (see photos).
André-Pierre Gignac scores from Florian Raspentino's cross.
The goal Marseille were on front on the scoreboard for the first time this pre-season. Unfortunately, the lead lasted barely six minutes into the second half. Les Nïmois were intent on revenge after failing to take advantage of their first-half domination. The home side laid siege to Bracigliano's goal. After a handball by Fanni in the area, Koné transformed the penalty as Nîmes drew level. Four minutes later and Nîmes were in front as the excellent Benezet finished off Haguy centre. They may have wasted their chances in the first half, but they had found their scoring touch at the start of the second.
Nîmes Olympique score twice in four minutes.
Victor Zvunka decided it was time for a few changes, but it did little to upset his side's rhythm. They had won all of their previous pre-season friendlies and continued to look dangerous from set pieces. OM looked shaking defending against the dead ball and more than once, the Crocodiles could have taken full advantage. Ironically, it was from a free-kick at the other end that OM equalised. Benoît Cheyrou's free-kick from the left picked out Leyti N’diaye who climbed higher than the host's defence to head past Al Shaibani. Les Marseillais had scored twice from their only two efforts on target...
Leyti N'diaye equalises from Benoît Cheyrou's free-kick
In the final 15 minutes, both sides had chances to win it, despite a series of substitutions by both coaches.
Marseille, winless in their first three pre-season friendly matches, embark on the next phase of their preparation on Sunday when they head into camp at Divonne-les-Bains. During this second camp, the club's internationals will filter back into action, because in just two week's time, it won't be a question of friendly matches, but the real thing...