Higuain scores, misses easy chance as Juve held 1-1 by Lyon

TURIN, Italy (AP) " Gonzalo Higuain showed his best and worst sides as Juventus was held to a 1-1 draw against Lyon on Wednesday, with the Italian hosts missing the chance to ensure qualification for the Champions League knockout stage with two matches to spare.

Higuain netted a penalty in the 13th minute but missed an open goal shortly before halftime. Juventus looked on course for the win but Corentin Tolisso leveled six minutes from time.

It was the first goal Juventus has conceded in this season's competition.

Juventus slipped to second in Group H, two points behind Sevilla " which beat Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 " and four points above Lyon. Juventus visits Seville on Nov. 22, having drawn 0-0 at home to the Spanish side in September, and coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his side can still snatch top spot.

"It was important to win at home to mathematically qualify but in the Champions League you need a bit of luck," Allegri said. "We're still in the fight for first place, so I think Juventus is on the right path in the Champions League as well as domestically.

"It would have been ideal to qualify tonight but maybe then in the end we would have gone to Sevilla tired and would have lost first place."

Lyon can sneak into the last 16 if it wins its final two group games and results elsewhere go its way.

"I'm happy about the goal because it gives us a small chance of qualification," Tolisso said. "Now we have to try and beat Zagreb and hope that Juventus beats Sevilla and then that will set us up for our final group game at home to Sevilla."

Juventus showed its attacking intent from the start, playing with a 4-3-1-2 formation, as Miralem Pjanic's effort was hooked off the line by Mouctar Diakhaby " although the Juventus player was harshly flagged offside.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was making his 100th Champions League appearance and he was called into an early save to deny Maciej Rybus.

At the other end Anthony Lopes also pulled off a great stop to keep out Mario Mandzukic's powerful strike.

Juventus took the lead minutes later. Higuain burst down the left flank and threaded the ball through for Stefano Sturaro, who was barged over by Diakhaby.

Higuain converted into the bottom left corner for his ninth goal for Juventus, since moving from Napoli in the offseason for an Italian record fee.

It was also the Argentina forward's 100th goal for Italian clubs.

Claudio Marchisio was making his first Champions League appearance since February, having spent six months out with a cruciate ligament injury, and he almost scored his first goal since his return but fired narrowly wide of the left post for Juventus.

Higuain should have doubled his tally after Mandzukic burst forward into the area and unselfishly rolled the ball across the box but the Argentine blazed over an open goal from 15 yards (meters) out.

His side was nearly made to pay immediately for his miss as Rachid Ghezzal controlled a throw in and shrugged off a couple of challenges but fired just the wrong side of the right-hand post.

Lyon upped the pressure in the second half but never really tested Buffon, although the Italy goalkeeper was prevented from keeping his 43rd clean sheet in the competition when Tolisso headed in Ghezzal's free kick.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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