LILLE, France (AP) — French champion Lille failed to take advantage of an extra man when it was held to a 0-0 draw by Wolfsburg in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.
Wolfsburg played for more than 30 minutes with 10 players after imposing United States center half John Brooks was sent off in the 63rd minute for a second yellow card following a handball.
Lille missed chances to punish the German side, with veteran striker Burak Yilmaz heading straight at goalkeeper Koen Casteels from close range in the 69th minute and captain Jose Fonte heading wide in stoppage time following a corner.
Lille thought it had scored in the 48th through striker Jonathan David. But the goal was ruled out after a video replay showed that the ball went out of touch on the left flank when Angel Gomes tackled a Wolfsburg player near the halfway line.
Gomes’ long cross-field pass found Jonathan Ikone on the right and he headed the ball down to the speedy Canada forward David, who slipped the ball through the legs of Casteels only to see his effort chalked off.
Wolfsburg had not played in the competition since losing in the 2016 quarterfinals.
Coach Mark van Bommel’s squad played with the confidence of a team leading the Bundesliga, while Lille’s hesitant approach reflected a tough start to the domestic campaign with just one win in five matches and 11 goals conceded.
Lille had little to fall back on, either, having finished bottom of its group two seasons ago and its most-recent win dating back to 2012.
Wolfsburg’s total goals conceded in the Bundesliga last season was lower than every other team except Leipzig, and its defense contained Lille forwards Yilmaz and David without too much trouble early on.
Yilmaz snatched at a half-chance midway through the first half after a smart run and pass from David and remained a threat with clever runs when drifting in from wide positions.
Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst led the visitors’ attack, yet it was Maximilian Philipp playing just behind him who threatened when his shot flew just over in the 60th.
After Brooks’ red card, Ikone was twice wasteful from decent positions and Lille had a penalty overturned following a review in the sixth minute of injury time.
In Group G’s other game, Salzburg missed two penalties in a 1-1 draw at 10-man Sevilla.
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