Win not enough to prevent Lille from finishing fourth
MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Lille salvaged some pride from its miserable Champions League campaign by winning 2-0 away to BATE Borisov on Tuesday.
Lille lost its first four Group F matches - including a humiliating 6-1 thrashing by Bayern Munich - and needed to win by a greater margin than 3-1 to have a chance of edging BATE to a consolation Europa League spot. It failed and looks set to finish last in the group.
Right back Djibril Sidibe put Lille ahead in the 14th minute and Belgian forward Gianni Bruno scored on his Champions League debut to give Lille a comfortable lead before halftime.
BATE failed to take advantage of Sidibe's sending off in the 74th and missed late chances.
Lille profited from poor defending by the home side, when right back Denis Polyakov cleared a bobbling ball out of the area, but only as far as Sidibe, who lofted it back over goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov and inside the left post.
Shortly after, striker Vitali Rodionov had a great chance to equalize but blazed the ball over the bar from close range, and Bruno went close to adding a second for Lille.
Lille coach Rudi Garcia, exasperated by Lille's woeful performance when it lost 2-0 away to Lorient on Friday, gave fringe players a chance to impress.
Bruno made amends for his earlier miss when he swept the ball in from close range in the 31st after fullback Lucas Digne beat Polyakov for pace and squared the ball to him.
Striker Salomon Kalou dragged his shot just wide of the post as Lille went close to adding the crucial third goal just before halftime. Moments after the break, Kalou twice looked dangerous on quick breaks, but there was no one on the end of his crosses.
The match then petered out as both teams lost possession carelessly, until BATE generated some pressure after Sidibe was sent off for a second yellow card.
Renan Bressan's goal-bound shot was blocked by Lille center half David Rozehnal in the 76th, and a minute later Lille `keeper Steve Elana did well to dive to his right to stop Aleksandr Hleb's deflected cross from going in.
With time running out to stage a comeback, Rodionov went clean through, but he failed to control the ball properly after a clumsy first touch.