By Eyong Macdella
Cameroon International, Karl Toko Ekambi was part of Coach Pater’s tutulaire Eleven who claimed a slim win over FC Porto in the First leg of the Europa league round of 16 clash at the Esperado do Dragao stadium on March 9,2022.
Lyon had Lucas Paqueta and the VAR to thank after they beat Porto 1-0 in that last-16 tie on Wednesday, in a game greatly influenced by the Video Assistant Referee as Ekambi’s side took a step forward to the Quater finals.
Peter Bosz’s side, who have struggled in Ligue 1 this season, are hoping to win a major European trophy for the first time this season.
His goal survived a VAR check for offside, a few minutes before the video assistant also ruled that Paqueta had not handled inside the area at the other end of the pitch.
The referee awarded a penalty to Porto for a handball by Paqueta minutes later but then changed after having taken a second look at the VAR screen. The handball was accidental after the ball bounced up off the midfielder’s knee before striking his arm.
Lyon’s Portuguese goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes also made a brilliant saves towards to deny Porto, who are top and unbeaten in the Portuguese league this season having scored in every home game so far, an equalizer.
Though Porto defender Chancel Mbemba had an effort ruled out for offside at extra time to the end of the game.
Toko Ekambi’s Coach reacted after the game saying, “I’ve always said that VAR is a good thing, because if VAR wasn’t there today we’d have had a goal disallowed and a penalty against us.
“Of course, we have the advantage in this tie, but we’re only halfway there.”
Cameroon’s forward, Karl Toko Ekambi played all 90minutes plus of the game and contributed effortlessly to his sides victory as they have now won their last six away matches in the UEFA Europa League.
Ekambi had a chance to give his side a goal to celebrate at the 38’ when the first half of the games seemed fruitless but then a cross from Faivre to Moussa Dembélé who could not finish leaving Toko-Ekambi ball as he missed that Chance to open scoring.
Lyon are the first French team in 13 attempts to beat Porto away in UEFA club competition as Porto were 18 matches unbeaten in all competitions before this encounter.
Lyon are also the first side in 22 matches to register a clean sheet against Porto who have not kept a clean sheet in 14 UEFA Europa League games.
The other last-16 first games come up Thursday, March 10, including Barcelona’s match against Galatasaray at Camp Nou.
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