Bordeaux into last four
French champions Bordeaux will play fellow First Division side Lorient in the League Cup semi-finals in what is a rematch of the 2002 final after beating Second Division strugglers Sedan 1-0 here on Tuesday.
A 50th minute goal by Yoan Gouffran - who was one of 11 changes to the starting line-up made by coach Laurent Blanc following the league leader's 0-0 draw with Boulogne-sur-Mer last Saturday - was enough to see off the 'Wild Boars' who had ousted Bordeaux at the same stage on penalties in 2008.
There was to be no repeat of those heroics this time especially after the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 61st minute when Sedan's Australian defender Ante Rozic was sent-off for a second bookable offence, just two minutes after his first offence.
Gouffran ensured that Bordeaux stayed in the running for four trophies this season - the three domestic pieces of silverware and the UEFA Champions League - when he pounced inside the penalty area after Sedan's defence had failed to clear the ball and shot past goalkeeper Benoit Costil.
Costil had seen action early on in the encounter as first he was saved by the cross bar after a fierce shot by Gregory Sertic in the 9th minute and then the midfielder forced the Sedan 'keeper into a good save from a freekick in the 41st minute.
Sedan had their moments, twice going close in the first-half, through a 36th minute header by Jerome Lemoigne and a minute later a shot by midfield partner Damien Tiberi, but the hosts 'keeper Cedric Carrasso saved on both occasions.
Bordeaux, though, finished the strongest and could have added to their lead on no less than three occasions in the last 10 minutes but Costil saved all of them, first from Gouffran and then twice in the 84th minute from David Bellion and Brazilian Jussie.
Blanc, who along with fellow 1998 FIFA World Cup™ and UEFA EURO 2000 winning team-mate Didier Deschamps is among the favourites to succeed present France coach Raymond Domenech after South Africa 2010, was pleased to have progressed, though, he saw a downside as well.
"We won. We have qualified for the next round, the semi-finals. We did our job, as we say," said the 44-year-old. "Last year people said that Bordeaux didn't care about the domestic cups (though they did win the League Cup). This year they can't say that. Of course there is a price to pay for success and that is a heavier fixtures schedule, which will be the case this month."
Bordeaux will travel to Lorient - who beat Lyon last week in their quarter-final - on 17 February while on Wednesday Toulouse host Marseille ... coached by none other than Deschamps.