Zimbabwe international Tino Kadewere scored for Lyon in the 1-1 draw at Lens on Saturday night to end a prolonged goal drought.

Kadewere has been used sparingly this season following an injury-inspired dip in form.

Unlike last season when he had a flying debut in the French Ligue 1, the Zimbabwean had come under intense criticism as he could not replicate the form that made him an instant hit in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Kadewere was given his second start in Lyon’s opening 25 games of the season on Saturday and has also made six substitute appearances as a bit-part player.

The 26-year-old has been linked with an exit from Lyon and getting linked to several clubs in France and England, Olympique Lyon manager Peter Bosz has thrown his full weight behind. Said Bosz after the match:

We always want to win. The start of the match was tough, but the second half was better. The draw is deserved. We are progressing. Lens were aggressive and pressed hard. This goal can be a release for Tino Kadewere. I’m happy for him.

Kadewere found the back of the net in the 44th minute after getting to the end of a cross by Cameroonian Karl Toko-Ekambi. Lyon were trailing 0-1 after they had gone down to a 13th-minute strike by Jonathan Clauss.

They are still within distance of a UEFA League spot despite falling from the fifth and final European place in the log standings with the draw. Kadewere said after the match:

It was a difficult match. We took a point, but we need more. We knew it was not going to be easy playing in this stadium. We have to stay focused for the next games. I’m happy to have scored; I’m regaining confidence.

The Zimbabwean played 76 minutes and could have also ended the game with a crucial assist had teammate Lucas Paqueta been clinical from his pass late on.

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