December 4, 2021

Abdelhamid and Dia score as Reims hold Rennes

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The Africans were on target as the Red and Whites got an away draw at Roazhon Park in Sunday’s French top-flight clash

Reims played to a 2-2 draw with Rennes in Sunday’s French elite division clash with Morocco’s Yunis Abdelhamid and Senegal senior national team invitee Boulaye Dia finding the net.

Heading to the Roazhon Park, the Red and Whites were outstanding underdogs having lost their last four league encounters, however, they picked up a point against the current league leaders.

They took the initiative against Julien Stephan’s men in the 11th minute courtesy of Abdelhamid’s strike. He headed home a well-taken corner kick from Arber Zeneli.

Nevertheless, the lead did not last long as the hosts levelled matters through Raphinha in the 24th minute. The Brazilian midfielder slotted the ball past goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic to complete a one-two move with Guinea prospect Serhou Guirassy.

Having erased their deficit, Rennes played with more confidence and made some fine attacking moves. That paid off in the 37th minute as Damien Da Silva put them ahead for the first time through a header.

The hosts could have sealed the win comfortably but missed clear cut chances, which was their major undoing. Guirassy, Eduardo Camavinga and on loan AS Roma star Steven Nzonzi missed begging chances.

In the 66th minute, Dia ensured the game ended on a no winner, no vanquished note after capitalising on a defensive mishap from Rennes.

Jean-Pierre Caillot’s men held their nerves to deny the hosts a chance of securing a late win.

While captain Abdelhamid featured from start to finish alongside Zimbabwe’s Marshall Munetsi, Dia was replaced eight minutes to full time by Kaj Sierhuis.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Ghislain Konan, Cameroon‘s Tristan Dingome, Guinea Bissau’s Moreto Cassama and Senegal’s Dialy N’Diaye played no part in the encounter.

For Rennes, Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd and Mali’s Hamari Traore saw every minute of the action with M’Baye Niang and DR Congo’s Pepe Bonet not considered for selection.

Even with this result, Rennais remain at the summit of the French top-flight with 14 points from six games, while Reims are just one point above Dijon who sit at the base of the log.

Born in Oyonnax, France to Senegalese parents, 23-year-old Dia was handed his maiden Teranga Lions call-up for October friendlies against Morocco and Mauritania.