PARIS (AFP) – David Ngog scored an injury-time equaliser to earn Reims a 2-2 draw and deny Marseille top spot in Ligue 1 on Friday.
Earlier Jordan Ayew had seemed set to begin the healing process from his Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak as his goal gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at the Stade Velodrome.
But former Liverpool striker Ngog came off the bench to pounce late on for Reims, who remain in mid-table, and snatch a deserved share of the spoils.
“Dropping two points at home is not a good result,” complained Ayew.
“We were pegged back in the last minute. But there you go, we can’t let our heads go down and we have to continue with the same spirit.”
Ayew had lashed home 21 minutes from time from less than a yard out after Andre-Pierre Gignac had completely missed an attempt at an acrobatic volley inside the six-yard box, which nonetheless helped to deceive goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.
The Ghana forward’s goal came just five days after his country’s dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat to Ivory Coast at the Cup of Nations final in Equatorial Guinea.
Ghana had even led the shoot-out 2-0 at one point before cracking within touching distance of lifting the cup for the first time since 1982.
A disjointed Marseille performance at the Stade Velodrome saw them fail to overhaul leaders Lyon, who travel to lowly Lorient on Sunday, and left them a point behind and a point ahead of champions Paris Saint-Germain, who entertain Caen on Saturday.
Nicolas de Preville had given Reims a sixth-minute lead on the south coast, but Dimitri Payet’s heavily deflected shot restored parity just before the hour mark.
Ayew’s goal came from a corner that caused panic in the Reims box with Agassa’s athletic reaction to Gignac’s point-blank attempted volley clearing the path for the Ghanaian to tap into an empty net.
Marseille were warned moments later as Reims almost snatched an equaliser.