Nice (France), Dec 9 (IANS) Already eliminated from this season’s Europa League, Ligue 1 leaders Nice beat Russia’s Krasnodar 2-1 to close out their campaign on a positive note.
Mario Balotelli returned to action for Nice after a three-month absence due to a calf injury. His side trailed Krasnodar after 52 minutes but came back with late goals after going down to 10 men following captain Andreas Granqvist’s eviction, reports Xinhua.
Fedor Smolov put the Russian team ahead with a carefully-threaded finish from a tight angle early in the second half here on Thursday.
Alexy Bosetti, who replaced Balotelli at the interval, scored the 64-minute penalty to equalise.
Maxime le Marchand converted a flick-on from 17-year-old Hicham Mahou to volley home the winner at 77 minutes, sealing the victory.
Nice, however, finished bottom of Group I with six points despite the victory.
Krasnodar went through to the knockout stage on a head-to-head advantage over Austria’s Salzburg, who beat group leaders Schalke 2-0 at home.