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Lille draws 1-1 with Bastia in French league to inch closer to Champions League spot

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BASTIA, France - Lille missed an opportunity to clinch a Champions League spot by drawing 1-1 with mid-table Bastia in the French league on Friday.

Lille striker Salomon Kalou cut inside fullback Fethi Harek to curl a low shot into the bottom corner in the 32nd minute. But Bastia winger Wahbi Khazri levelled by heading home a cross from Florian Raspentino in the 85th.

Lille stayed in third place, seven points behind Monaco but eight points clear of Saint-Etienne.

A victory would have guaranteed Lille a top-three finish. The second-place team qualifies for the group stage of the Champions League while the team finishing third enters the preliminary round of the lucrative European competition.

On Saturday, Rennes faces Guingamp in the French Cup final. Their league games are therefore postponed to Wednesday, with Paris Saint-Germain hosting Rennes and Guingamp travelling to Monaco.

On Sunday, it's: Saint-Etienne vs. Montpellier; Lorient vs. Ajaccio; Reims vs. Evian; Sochaux vs. Nice; Toulouse vs. Nantes; Valenciennes vs. Bordeaux; and Marseille vs. Lyon.

Bastia nearly opened the scoring in the 31st but Simon Kjaer and Rio Mavuba blocked close-range attempts from forward Gianni Bruno. From the ensuing counterattack, Nolan Roux fed Kalou, who notched his 14th league goal this season.

Lille missed chances to double the lead in the second half. Kalou could only muster a tame effort with the goal at his mercy in the 55th while Marvin Martin failed to convert a cross from Pape Souare in the 62nd.

Lille was punished for its poor finishing when Khazri outjumped Kjaer to equalize with a header. The hosts could have even won the match in the 87th when Raspentino diverted in a shot from Djibril Cisse, but the goal was disallowed for offside — although TV replays showed Cisse and Raspentino were onside.

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