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Toko Ekambi makes scoring Ligue 1 return for Lyon against Nice after Afcon disappointment

5:35 pm AEDT 13/2/22
Karl Toko Ekambi
The striker made a positive return to the Kids after helping the Indomitable Lions to a third-place finish in the continental competition

Karl Toko Ekambi sealed Olympique Lyon’s 2-0 victory over Nice in a Ligue 1 fixture on Saturday evening.

The 29-year-old returned to France recently after featuring at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – where Cameroon finished third.

In that competition, he contributed five goals for the Indomitable Lions which included a brace against the Gambia in the quarter-final.

Against the Eaglets, who brushed aside Olympique Marseille 4-1 last time out, Toko Ekambi was handed a starter’s role and he repaid manager Peter Bosz’s faith in him.

Lyon made a bright start by winning a penalty inside three minutes after Justin Kluivert was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Moussa Dembele saw his kick saved by Walter Benitez before Lucas Paqueta drilled home the rebound. VAR ordered the penalty to be retaken because of encroachment.

This time, Frenchman Dembele made no mistake as he put his team ahead.

Lyon were in firm control of the showdown as they dominated ball possession, while Benitez made several saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

Nice woke from their slumber but they could not negotiate their way past the hosts’ goalkeeper and backline.

The hosts sealed the result seven minutes into the second half through Toko Ekambi, as he tapped in at the back post after profiting from a Tanguy Ndombele assist.

With no goals in the remaining minutes, Lyon got their tenth win of the 2021-22 campaign as they continued their push for an eighth league title.

After impressing for 74 minutes, Toko Ekambi was subbed off for Zimbabwe star Tino Kadewere.

Ivorian defender Sinaly Diomande was introduced for Emerson in the 90th minute but Mali's Habib Keita and Togo's Malcolm Barcola were not dressed for action.

On the other hand, Algeria international Andy Delort played from start to finish with Gabon international Mario Lemina making way for Pablo Rosario a minute before the hour mark.

"We had a good performance, and we take three important points. It's our best game this season,” Toko Ekambi told the club website after the match.

“We mastered for 90 minutes but I had little moments of fatigue during the game.”

Lyon are guests of RC Lens in their next league fixture on February 19.