Lens have stayed true to their mining heritage while booking a place in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years
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As he buried his first penalty of the season – for his 20th goal overall – there was only one way for Lens striker Loïs Openda to celebrate. The Belgian striker had just equalled Roger Boli’s record goal tally over a single campaign for the club and proceeded to mimic the Franco-Ivorian striker’s iconic aeroplane celebration.
The goal – the third in a 3-0 victory over already relegated Ajaccio – secured the team’s spot in next season’s Champions League. The anthem for that competition provided the background music to the celebrations at the final whistle as the Ligue 1 runners-up revelled in their most successful campaign in 25 years. Lens
have become one of the very few underdogs to upset French football’s established hierarchy of European qualifiers over the past few decades.