Soccer-Battling Angers hold Lens to thrilling 2-2 draw


LENS, France (Reuters) - Lens missed a chance to go second in Ligue 1 after they were held to a rollercoaster 2-2 home draw by Angers, whose defender Romain Thomas struck to salvage a point after the visitors had thrown away the lead in a lively clash on Friday.

The result left Lens fourth on 25 points from 15 games, 12 behind runaway leaders Paris St Germain, while Angers stayed sixth on 22 points.

Angers always looked more likely to break the deadlock in a cagey first half and Sofiane Boufal gave them a 40th-minute lead when he bundled the ball in past home goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca after he was put through by Azzedine Ounahi.

Falling behind spurred Lens into action and they turned the tide inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Gael Kakuta levelling when he rifled in a bouncing volley from 10 metres after good work by Massadio Haidara.

Florian Sotoca made it 2-1 to Lens with a superb reflex as he turned in a Przemyslaw Frankowski cross from the left at the near post, but the 31-year old striker then missed a sitter which proved costly.

Sotoca headed wide from close range with the goal at his mercy in the 69th minute and Lens were punished two minutes later as Thomas glanced in a header at the far post after Angelo Fulgini chipped the ball into the right back's stride.

Angers keeper Danijel Petkovic denied the hosts a stoppage-time winner as he kept out Sekou Fofana's effort, giving the visitors a well-deserved point.

Champions Lille are at home to Nantes and second-placed Nice entertain Metz on Saturday, while PSG visit Saint Etienne and third-placed Rennes are away to Lorient in Sunday's standout fixtures.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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