Last-gasp Monaco into Cup final
An extra-time goal by substitute Moussa Maazou earned Monaco a 1-0 victory over Lens on Tuesday that took them into the final of the French Cup after a tight, tense semi-final tie.
The hosts had earlier seen top scorer Nene miss from the penalty spot with a re-taken spotkick but the Brazilian redeemed himself with an inch-perfect centre for Maazou's decisive goal in the 110th minute.
Maazou also scored an extra-time winner in Monaco's 4-3 quarter-final defeat of Sochaux and his decisive intervention means Guy Lacombe's side will contest their first final since the decider of the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League.
The visitors had enjoyed the best of the first half, with Ivorian international Kanga Akale twice spurning presentable chances and Alaeddine Yahia heading fractionally wide from a corner. Nene slotted home from the penalty spot in the 58th minute after Lens goalkeeper Vedran Runje had fouled Alejandro Alonso but he was made to re-take the spotkick due to encroachment.
The Brazilian blazed his second attempt well over the crossbar and Runje came to Lens's rescue moments later by touching away a 30-yard free-kick from Nene with his finger-tips. Lens threatened to snatch victory in injury time when right-back Francois-Joseph Modesto and substitute Kevin Monnet-Paquet both sent headers agonisingly off-target.
Jean-Guy Wallemme's side enjoyed the best of extra time as well but with penalties beckoning their cup dream died, Maazou meeting Nene's measured left-wing cross with a masterful header that left Runje powerless.
The second semi-final on Wednesday opposes fourth-division giant-killers Quevilly and Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain. The final takes place at the Stade de France on 1 May.