Chambery fairytale continues, more big exits
Fifth division amateurs Chambery continued their dream Coupe de France run today, a 2-1 victory over Sochaux seeing them progress into the quarter-finals. Paris Saint Germain, however, safely negotiated their potential banana skin, a Guillaume Hoarau hat-trick guiding the Parisians to a 4-1 win over fourth tier Martigues.
The poor showing of First Division clubs in this season's edition did not let up as Sochaux were joined by Nancy in exiting the competition as they were beaten 2-1 by Second Division Le Mans. League leaders Lille and Nice, though, managed to scrape through to the last eight as the former edged Second Division Nantes on penalties, while Nice beat tiny Drancy 1-0. It leaves just four left with a hope of lifting the trophy.
Sochaux became Chambery's third first division scalp after they had previously knocked out Monaco and Brest. It is the first time a club as lowly as the Savoyards has succeeded in eliminating three Ligue 1 clubs in Cup competition. Chambery became the fifth club from the fifth division to reach the quarters after Arras (1949), Rouen (1999), Schiltigheim (2003) and Carquefou (2008).
Sochaux took the lead through Nigerian striker Brown Ideye in the 21st minute, but Chambery hit back with two second-half goals. Fabien Tissot-Rosset brought the alpine side level in the 62nd minute, and Aissa Yahia-Bey added a second nine minutes later to secure the historic victory.
"It's magnificent, extraordinary!" Chambery defender Stephane Roux beamed. "It's amazing with the crowd. Tomorrow I'm telling my boss I'm sick, it's a party."
Sochaux president Alexandre Lacombe was gracious in defeat, saying: "They're a great, victorious team and they went out looking for the win. We reacted after the second goal but it was too late."
He added: "We were maybe too confident after the first half. They came out really looking for it in the second half and they probably wanted it more.Then there were some individual slip-ups on our side, and some players didn't show their best form.
"The best team probably won and in the second half there's really nothing to say about Chambery's victory," he said, adding: "Our first objective is to finish in the top half of Ligue 1, the Cup would have been a bonus."
In Martigues, PSG always had the beating of the home side, reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute after Boubacar Dembele saw red for a rash tackle on Clement Chantome. Hoarau was the star of the match thanks to his hat-trick which, accompanied by a 63rd goal by Peguy Luyindula, negated a Stephane Biakolo penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Yesterday, top-flight Rennes slumped to a 4-3 home loss to second division former European Cup finalists Reims, while Lorient scored an emphatic 3-0 win over second tier Metz.
Second division Angers, having put out first division sides Valenciennes and Bordeaux in quick succession, also moved into the last eight for the first time in 35 years with a 2-0 victory over third division Strasbourg.