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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final


South Africa out after Uruguay stalemate

By ESPN Staff

Ligue 1: Lyon take another step towards fifth title

PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) - Olympique Lyon took a huge step towards a record fifth consecutive title with a 2-1 victory over mid-table Nice and second-placed Girondins Bordeaux were held to a 0-0 draw by St Etienne in the Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Gerard Houllier's side have 75 points from 33 matches. Bordeaux trail by 14 so Lyon need just two points in their last five games to beat the record of St Etienne and Olympique Marseille of four successive national titles.

St Etienne won the league from 1967 to 1970 and Marseille were champions from 1989 to 1992.

Disillusion was still in the air at the Stade Gerland four days after Lyon let qualification for the Champions League semi-finals slip against AC Milan.

The hosts were without Sylvain Wiltord, John Carew, Mahamadou Diarra and Francois Clerc, all rested after the San Siro game.

They struggled in the midfield with a below-par Tiago, who was replaced by Juninho in the second half.

Lyon opened the scoring on 22 minutes courtesy of a Fred goal from close range. Brazilian midfielder Ederson equalised seven minutes from the interval after a sharp counter-attack led by full back Cyril Rool.

On 52 minutes, France midfielder Florent Malouda struck the winner for Lyon with a fine volley from just inside the box.

Third-placed Lille held on to their Champions League qualifier spot with a 0-0 draw at League Cup finalists Nancy.

The northeners have 55 points with four games remaining and lead RC Lens by two points.

Earlier on Saturday, Lens grabbed a 1-1 home draw against Paris St Germain with a 90th minute penalty. PSG remain eighth, three points behind Rennes.

The capital side were in sight of their first away win since a 2-0 defeat of Girondins Bordeaux last November after Ivory Coast forward Bonaventure scored in the 78th minute by chipping past Lens goalkeeper Charles Itandje. Lens levelled on 90 minutes with a penalty from Brazilian striker Jussie after PSG defender Mario Yepes was shown a straight red card for a foul on Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane.

Olympique Marseille remain seventh on 51 points after a Javier Ernesto Chevanton goal gave Monaco a 1-0 win over the Provence side.

Troyes took a big step towards safety a 4-2 victory at bottom club Metz who were playing their 2,000th game in the top flight.

On Sunday, Stade Rennes try to make it eight wins in a row to leapfrog Lille for third place when they entertain Sochaux.