AFC Asian Cup

Napoli beats 9-man Nice 2-0, closes in on Champions League

Dries Mertens started this season where he left off the last, setting Napoli on its way to a 2-0 win over nine-man Nice in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Wednesday.

Mertens scored more than 30 goals last season for Napoli, with five of them in the Champions League. And it took the Belgium international less than 13 minutes to open his account for this campaign.

Mertens sprung the offside trap to race onto a through-ball, take it past onrushing goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale and slot it into the empty net.

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