Bordeaux beat Evian to win French Cup
© AFP

Bordeaux won their first French Cup in 26 years, beating minnows Evian 3-2 in the final at the Stade de France on Friday.

That result ensured Bordeaux will qualify for the UEFA Europa League next season. Cheick Diabate was the hero, netting the 89th minute winner having earlier opened the scoring and missing a penalty at 1-0.

In an entertaining game, Evian twice pegged back their more illustrious opponents before Diabate's strike at the death finally extinguished their spirited resistance. Evian were playing in their first ever cup final. Their most notable trophy success was a second division title in 2011. Approaching Friday's final, they were understandably the rank outsiders.

It was only four years ago that Bordeaux were last crowned as French champions, and although they had not won the French Cup over two decades, they had won the League Cup three times in the last 11 years.

The tall and gangly forward, Diabate, caused Evian problems throughout the evening. He managed to escape beyond the back-line on 39 minutes to latch onto Mariano's punt forward from right-back. The Malian drew goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait into committing himself before rounding him and slotting past a defender on the line.

Diabate denied from the spot
Diabate then won a penalty when Milos Ninkovic was adjudged to have pulled him back. This time Laquait got the better of Diabate, plunging to his left to keep out the spot-kick with a fine, one-handed save.

Not long later, Evian went up the other end for birthday boy Daniel Wass to tee up Ivory Coast forward Yannick Sagbo who beat Cedric Carrasso with a close-range finish. Yet within minutes Bordeaux were back in front. Henri Saivet nipped in behind the Evian backline to head home Gregory Sertic's free-kick.

Twenty minutes from time Evian came fighting back as captain Cedric Barbosa crossed from the left and Brice Dja Djedje was left all alone to tap home at the back post. Diabate would have the final word, though, when Côte d'Ivoire's Dja Djedje was slow pushing up for offside, leaving the big Mali striker to run onto Nicolas Maurice-Belay's flick over the top to finish past a static Laquait.