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Soccer: Nice lose again without Balotelli as Sneijder looks on
August 11, 2017 / 7:47 PM / in 4 months

Soccer: Nice lose again without Balotelli as Sneijder looks on

PARIS (Reuters) - Nice slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by promoted Troyes on Friday and having now lost their opening two Ligue 1 games they cannot wait for new recruit Wesley Sneijder to be fit enough to play.

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - OGC Nice vs Troyes - Nice, France - August 11, 2017 Troyes’ Christophe Herelle and Charles Traore celebrate victory REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet

The southern French side, who were missing injured striker Mario Balotelli, were wasteful up front and surrendered the points when Saif-Eddine Khaoui struck five minutes from time.

Nice’s Alassane Plea netted a penalty just past the hour to cancel out Adama Niane’s opener for the visitors soon after the break but it was not enough for the hosts, who travel to Napoli on Wednesday for a Champions League playoff first leg.

The 33-year-old Sneijder, who joined from Galatasaray this week, was presented to the Allianz Riviera crowd before the game and the Dutch international’s creativity was sorely missed.

Troyes went ahead nine minutes into the second half when Niane’s delicate chip beat Yoan Cardinale after some poor communication between the keeper and defender Dante.

Ten minutes later, Nice’s Lees Melou was brought down in the box and striker Plea converted the spot kick.

The result left Troyes top of the table with four points from two games before second-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who won their opener, travel to Stade Rennes later on Friday.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris

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