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Cannes stun Montpellier, Lille avoid Cup upset

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11 Feb 2014 23:16:52

Cannes stun Montpellier, Lille avoid Cup upset

Fourth-tier Cannes played the role of giant-killers once again on Tuesday as they dumped out Ligue 1 side Montpellier 1-0 in the last 16 of the French Cup, while Lille staved off an upset after outlasting Caen on penalties.

Cannes, who are toiling away in the amateur ranks having been in the top flight less than two decades ago, had already seen off Saint-Etienne in the previous round before claiming the scalp of Rolland Courbis' revitalised Montpellier.

A goalless 90 minutes on the French Riviera was overshadowed by unrest in the away supporters' section, to which the police responded by firing tear gas into the area occupied by Montpellier fans to restore calm.

Extra time was needed at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin and Mbaye Niang, on as a substitute, having started on the bench after a brush with the law last week, missed a glorious chance to put Montpellier ahead on 102 minutes when he struck his penalty kick against the base of the post.

That miss was to prove extremely costly as Cannes countered on the break in the dying stages before Belkacem Zobiri drilled home a dramatic winner in the 119th minute to seal a place in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, 2011 winners Lille were forced to stage a furious fightback at home to second division Caen before outlasting their opponents in a shootout to reach the last eight of the competition.

Rene Girard's side appeared on course to be added to the growing exodus of eliminated Ligue 1 outfits, a list that already included favourites Paris Saint-Germain, after falling 2-0 behind inside the opening half hour.

An error from reserve Lille goalkeeper Steeve Elana was pounced on by Fode Koita who put Caen in front at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on 14 minutes.

Koita struck again on 29 minutes to double the visitors' lead before Ronny Rodelin pulled a goal back for Rene Girard's side shortly after.

Lille's sustained pressure in the second half finally told as they were rewarded with an equaliser on 76 minutes when Jonathan Delaplace reacted quickest to slot home the rebound after Divock Origi's long-range effort smacked against the post.

Nolan Roux then looked to have won it for the hosts as he fired them ahead with just seven minutes remaining only for Rodelin to nod the ball past his own keeper deep into stoppage time, prompting an additional 30 minutes, and eventually, penalties.

In the shootout the first 11 spot-kicks were dispatched successfully before Caen's Mathias Autret, needing to score to keep his side alive, skied his effort over the crossbar.

On Wednesday, Monaco make the short trip to Cote d'Azur rivals Nice, while 2012 Cup winners Lyon are at home to Ligue 2 side Lens on Thursday.


AFP

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