Guingamp dethroned as Cup holders
© AFP

French Second Division side Guingamp's reign as French Cup holders ended on Tuesday when they were beaten 1-0 by First Division strugglers Boulogne-sur-Mer in their last 16 match.

A fine 25 yard strike by midfielder Alexandre Cuvillier on the hour mark was enough to separate the sides and book Boulogne's place in the last eight - a feat they last achieved in 2005 when they were a mere fourth division side.

Elsewhere the upset of the round thusfar came as fourth division Quevilly - finalists in 1927 and semi-finalists in 1968 - ousted in-form First Division side Rennes 1-0. It was even more of a shock as Rennes had been scoring goals for fun of late, hitting four in three successive matches.

Quevilly coach Regis Brouard said his side had prevailed because they had used their heads and not relied on a muscular approach. "I take my hat off to my players for having played as we had decided to," said Brouard, whose side are ninth in the Fourth Division. We won this match intellectually... the guys played with their heads. It is not sufficient enough to run and to jump."

We won this match intellectually... the guys played with their heads. It is not sufficient enough to run and to jump.
Quevilly coach Regis Brouard

Ailing French giants Paris Saint Germain kept their hopes alive of rescuing something from another disastrous season, though, a 1-0 away win over unheralded Fourth Division outfit Vesoul reflects how low they have sunk. However, PSG coach Antoine Kombouare was pleased enough that former France international Ludovic Giuly's goal had got them through to the last eight.

"Yes, that is an enormous relief," said the former PSG defender, who was lured from Valenciennes to take over. "We have qualified, that is very important, and in difficult conditions. It is a win which allows us to regain some confidence, to smile and be happy again in the changing rooms."

Both starting line-ups for the Boulogne and Guingamp clash reflected where their priorities lie as several normal first choice players were either left out of the squad completely or were on the substitutes bench. Guingamp coach Victor Zvunka - whose side are a lowly 18th in the Second Division - was philosophical in defeat, though, he conceded that he had targeted reaching the last eight.

"I fixed as my objective to get to at least the quarter-finals," said Zvunka. "One has to be realistic, for a second division team to reach the final two seasons in a row, one has to be dreaming."

His Boulogne counterpart Guyot was delighted to have received a welcome psychological boost ahead of several crucial league matches - starting with Lille on Saturday - as they battle to avoid an immediate return to the Second Division, which sees them presently seven points adrift of fourth from bottom Le Mans.

"We are very happy to have qualified," said Guyot, who heard calls for his resignation for the first time this season following the 2-0 defeat by Montpellier last Saturday. "Still one has to be calm as this means we are only in the last eight.

"Without actually making a comment about the present situation in the championship, it is in any case an achievement to have gone so far in this competition. We await the draw to know who we will face, but whoever it is we will play that match with a certain liberated feeling with the target of making the last four."

There was to be no upset either in another last 16 tie as mid-table First Division outfit Sochaux - the team mainly made up of second string players - disposed of third division Beauvais 4-1. Sochaux' stroll saw them reach their first quarter-final since 2007, and their fans will see that as a good omen as they went on to win the trophy.