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Brazilians in France: Successful start for Túlio de Melo

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Lille earned their first victory of the season on Saturday with a 2-1 away win over St Etienne in the first-round of the 2012-13 Ligue 1 season.

Defender Aurelien Chedjou opened the scoring for the visitors in the second-half, but the home side drew level through Romain Hamouma. However, French international Benoit Pedretti secured victory for Lille with a goal in the final minute.

Striker Túlio de Melo said post-match: "It's our first match and our first victory. It's very important to start the season with a positive result, especially in an away game. We are all very pleased."

Troyes fell to a 1-0 defeat to Valenciennes on their return to the top-flight with Brazilian full-back Rincón the unforfunate scorer of an own-goal.

Valenciennes centre-back Gil, though, was happy to pick up an away-win: "The result was very good this evening. Our defence was very strong and we kept a clean sheet. This result is important for us because we gain confidence to achieve an excellent season."

On Friday night, Montpellier started their Ligue 1 title defence with a 1-1 draw against Toulouse at the Stade de la Mosson.

In a game of three red cards, the defending champions claimed a point despite the absence of a couple of key players.

Centre-back Hilton said: "It was really a tough game because of the heat, but it's the same for both teams. We had a good first-half  and were able to open the scoring, then the game became more difficult after the red card and equaliser.

"This was our first game, we knew it would be difficult. We will now work hard ahead of the next match."

Ligue 1 newboys Bastia started life in the top-flight with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sochaux. The match marked goalkeeper Magno Novaes' first game in the highest tier of French football.

He told Sambafoot: "The first half was difficult, with Sochaux applying a lot of pressure during the first 15 minutes when they managed to score a goal. After half time we managed to sort out some problems, we played our game and we took our opportunities. We are pleased to begin Ligue 1 with a win."

Perennial challengers Lyon started the season with a 1-0 away win over a below-par Rennes side, who saw striker Jires Kembo-Ekoko sent-off.

Experienced centre-back and captain Cris was delighted to get the season off to a positive start:

"To start the league with an away-win, without conceding against a good team, we could not have asked for more," he told Sambafoot.

"It was a competitive match, we opened the scoring and then, they had a player sent off which helped us and we could have added a second goal in the first period.

"For the first game it was fine. We still need to improve some things, but we must congratulate all the team for their defensive work and this victory. "

Ajaccio secured a 1-0 away win at Nice thanks to a goal from Brazilian striker Eduardo, while title favourites PSG started the season with a 2-2 draw against Lorient, with Maxwell finding the net at the wrong end. Centre-back Alex also started the game for the Parisiens, with Nenê a second-half substitute.


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