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Kahraba starts as Lille knock Grasshoppers out of Champions League qualifying

Photo: ©Getty Images

Photo: ©Getty Images

Lille advanced to the UEFA Champions League play-off round with a 3-1 aggregate win following a 1-1 draw against Kahraba’s Grasshopper Club in the second leg.

Ligue 1 side Lille went into the game with a two nil lead after winning the first leg in Zurich, with 20-year-old Egypt international Mahmoud ‘Kahraba’ starting the game on the right wing.

Florent Balmont gave Lille the lead with a spectacular long-range shot in the 19th minute after Kahraba had been unfairly pushed off the ball.

In the 33rd minute Amir Abrashi equalised with another excellent goal, this time a 20-yard finish to the right of the keeper.

Kahraba was very energetic trying to take on players but more often than not he would lose the ball to the opposition. His first shot on goal came in the 47th minute when the ball was passed into him in the box – he was able to switch feet but his weak right-footed shot was easily held by the keeper, Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama.

Lille were excellent on the counter-attack and posed a huge threat against the slow Grasshoppers defence. In the second half the game started to open up. Grasshoppers’ Manus Dabbur came close to scoring when his header was saved excellently by Enyeama. Seconds later the ball fell to Kahraba who came close to scoring when he received the ball on the edge of the box and his shot rattled the post.

Kahraba had an even better chance in the 63rd minute when he ran into the box with the ball taking on a couple of players. He delayed the shot trying to take on another player, but by the time he took his shot it was blocked by the defender.

In the 68th minute Grasshoppers were reduced to ten men as Daniel Pavlovic was given a straight red card for a high kick on Lille’s Corchia.

Six minutes later Kahraba was substituted by Mortiz Bauer, having played just over 74 minutes of the European tie.

The game ended with the French side pilling on the pressure looking for a winner but were unable to get one. The game finished 1-1 with Lille advancing 3-1 on aggregate, while Kahraba’s Grasshoppers exit into the UEFA Europa League.

Ahmad Yousef is a proud Egyptian football fanatic who started playing football at a young age and was scouted for Ipswich Town. A hardcore Tottenham Hotspur fan and Zamalek supporter by blood, Ahmad mainly follows European football involving Egyptian players and the Egyptian national team. Ahmad’s love for Egyptian players abroad is what initially spurred him into writing. He now writes regularly and is also an editor at

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