Lille beats Wolfsburg to advance in Champions League

Burak Yilmaz of LOSC Lille and Maxence Lacroix of VfL Wolfsburg battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League group G match between VfL Wolfsburg and Lille OSC at Volkswagen Arena on December 8, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany.


Lille qualified for the Champions League last 16 for the first time in 15 years as the French champion beat Wolfsburg 3-1 on Wednesday to win its group.

Either team would have qualified with a win in a tight Group G, and it was Lille which seized the opportunity.

Veteran striker Burak Yilmaz gave Lille the lead after Jonathan Ikoné charged down the right flank on a quick break and crossed low for the Turkish striker arriving on the edge of the penalty area to finish.

Wolfsburg posed little threat except with set pieces and a penalty shout just before halftime for handball which was rejected by video review.

Still, the German team stayed in the contest until the 72nd minute, when Canadian forward Jonathan David doubled Lille's lead with a shot in off the post. It came from a pass by Angel Gomes, who scored Lille's third soon after.

Swiss winger Renato Steffen responded with a shot into the top corner in the 89th minute, but it was too late for a comeback.

Burak Yilmaz of LOSC Lille celebrates after scoring his team's first goal with teammates during the UEFA Champions League group G match between VfL Wolfsburg and Lille OSC at Volkswagen Arena on December 8, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany. 


Lille has only qualified from the group stage once before, when it lost to Manchester United in the round of 16 in 2006-07. Wolfsburg finished last and was eliminated.

Salzburg qualified from second place in Group G after beating Sevilla 1-0 in the other game.

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