Amateurs stun Lens as PSG put Cup up for grabs

1st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - Champions League hopefuls Lens were bundled out of the French Cup by determined amateur side Montceau-les-Mines on Wednesday.

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - Champions League hopefuls Lens were bundled out of the French Cup by determined amateur side Montceau-les-Mines on Wednesday.

A 78th minute penalty proved enough for the Cup minnows to secure a 1-0 home victory over the French top flight side, who currently sit second in the league behind champions Lyon.

Cup holders Paris St Germain joined Lens on the scrapheap after their 2-1 away defeat to high-flying league side Sochaux.

Sochaux took a two-goal lead before half-time through Mickael Isabey and Moumouni Dagano and held on to book their ticket in spite of David N'gog raising hopes for the visitors with a strike in the 75th minute.

It means Sochaux join Montceau, Nantes and Marseille - both of whom booked their last four place on Tuesday - in Sunday's draw for the Cup semi-finals.

PSG will now return to the more important task of maintaining their top flight status having slumped to fourth from bottom despite the arrival of former Lyon coach Paul Le Guen from Scottish side Rangers.

Montceau could have given Le Guen's stricken side a lesson in determination.

The Burgundy hosts had dumped top flight side Bordeaux out of the competition in the previous round and their fighting spirit proved a vital ingredient in their winning formula.

Montceau coach Yannick Chandioux said: "We're very proud of the players.

"When you play a first division side who are also competing in Europe and are in form you have some anxious moments.

"But we played even better than we did against Bordeaux. We had a lot more openings and the only thing that annoyed me was that we could have let it slip through out fingers by missing those chances."

Lens failed to fulfil their potential, and left their coach Francis Gillot stunned: "It's certainly the worst match we've played in the last two and a half years.

"We came up short in all areas. You have to ask if the players took the game seriously."

Montceau finally earned a chance to pull ahead when Lens 'keeper Sebastien Chabbert fouled Julien Serpry in the box.

Striker Christophe Alidor stepped up and made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

In a tense end to the match Montceau hit the post soon afterwards. Lens then Lens failed to grab a crucial equaliser a few minutes before time when several, concurent shots were blocked by the hosts' defence.

On Tuesday former France 'keeper Fabien Barthez was the hero for Nantes as he helped them reach the semis with a 6-5 win on penalties over Sedan.

Barthez's former club Marseille crushed Brittany minnows Vannes 5-0.

In his first penalty shootout since last year's World Cup final loss to Italy, Barthez, 35, produced the crucial save after the tie had ended 1-1 after extra time when he punched out Sedan's sixth penalty from Nicolas Marin.

Copyright AFP

Subject French news

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