Holders Lille required an extra-time header from substitute Gianni Bruno to overcome valiant fourth-tier side Compiegne 1-0 in the Coupe de France on Saturday and take their place in the last 16. Penalties were beckoning at Stade Pierre-Brisson in Beauvais when Florent Balmont swung a cross into the box from the right flank in the 114th minute and 20-year-old Bruno stole ahead of his marker to score with a powerful downward header.
The French champions, who fielded a strong side, had dominated the extra period but were unconvincing for much of the match and saw Hubert Aulon hit the crossbar for Compiegne with a 25-yard effort during the second half. "To go far in the French Cup, you also need to know how to squeeze through in certain matches," said Lille coach Rudi Garcia. "The door wasn't wide tonight but we managed to pass through it all the same."
Bordeaux had a similarly narrow escape, with goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso saving two spotkicks as they beat Creteil 4-3 on penalties after the National (third division) outfit had twice equalised to force a 2-2 draw. Ajaccio and Auxerre were not so fortunate, as they became the eighth and ninth Ligue 1 clubs to exit this season's tournament. Laurent Fournier's Auxerre lost 2-1 at home to Chateauroux of Ligue 2, while the Corsicans fell 3-2 to fourth-tier Bourg-Peronnas.
Despite being bottom of the French elite, Ajaccio had won their four previous games in all competitions, but they lost to a goal from Julio Tavares after Mehdi Mostefa's 94th-minute equaliser for Ajaccio had taken the game to extra time.
Fourth-division Quevilly, who memorably reached the semi-finals in 2010, stayed on course for another fairytale run to the latter stages by beating Ligue 2 Angers 1-0. Meanwhile, on-loan Chelsea attacking midfielder Gael Kakuta scored a 32nd-minute equaliser as Dijon came from behind to beat Istres 2-1.
In the only other all-Ligue 1 tie of the round, Rennes beat Nice on a penalty shoot-out after they were locked 0-0 after extra-time. Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain booked their place in the last 16 with a 4-0 victory at fifth-tier Sable-sur-Sarthe yesterday.