Nice secured a 2-1 triumph over Lens in Sunday’s Ligue 1 encounter with debutant Amine Gouiri finding the net twice.
After three seasons with Lyon, Gouiri joined the Eagles on July 1, 2020 for a fee of seven million Euros and needed little time to show his new club what to expect in the 2020-21 campaign by helping Patrick Vieira’s side to a comeback victory at the Allianz Riviera.
With the game still gathering momentum, the visitors took an 11th-minute lead through DR Congo star Gael Kakuta who beat goalkeeper Walter Benitez from the penalty spot after Ignatius Ganago’s cross had touched captain Dante on the arm.
That goal was a reality check for the hosts as they soon dominated ball possession in their quest for an equaliser.
Ganago was involved in a threatening moment for Nice in the 21st minute when he connected with Florian Sotoca’s pass, it appeared like he would double the Blood and Gold's advantage, but he failed to hit the target.
Two minutes later, the hosts got the anticipated leveller as Gouiri slotted into the top corner of goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca's net thanks to an assist from Hassane Kamara.
In the second half, scoring chances was rare – prompting manager Vieira to bring on Dan Ndoye for Khephren Thuram. Nevertheless, it was Gouiri who had the final say in the 75th minute.
After Pierre Lees-Melou won the ball back high up the pitch, he found Gouiri, who bent his strike past Leca. Despite Lens’ numerous attempts to equalise, it was the hosts who sealed all points at stake.
✊ We'll take that for starters!— OGC Nice 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@ogcnice_eng) August 23, 2020
A brace on his 🔴&⚫️ competitive debut for @aminegouiri😍 and all 3⃣ points!#OGCNice #OGCNRCL pic.twitter.com/vAOC1JDPAE
While two-goal hero Gouiri lasted for the entire duration, the quartet of Algeria's Youcef Atal, Hicham Boudaoui, Senegal's Racine Coly and Cameroon's Adrien Tameze were not listed for the encounter.
For Nice, Mali's Cheick Doucoure featured from start to finish as Issiaga Sylla replaced Ismael Boura in the 78th minute, while Kakuta came out for Tony Mauricio in the 69th minute.
Born in Bourgoin-Jallieu, the 20-year-old is eligible to represent the Algerian national team at international level despite featuring for France at the U16, U17, 18, U19, U20 and U21 levels.
Nice travel to Stade de la Meinau on Sunday for their meeting with Strasbourg as Lens chase their first victory of the season against Paris Saint-Germain.