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Lugano rescues PSG against minnows Locmine

08 Jan 2012 19:16:48

Lugano rescues PSG against minnows Locmine

Diego Lugano's 93rd-minute header gave Paris Saint-Germain victory over fifth-tier Saint-Colomban Locmine in the French Cup on Sunday and spared Carlo Ancelotti from humiliation in his first game as PSG coach.

The game at Lorient's Stade du Moustoir was heading to extra time when Uruguay captain Lugano converted Nene's cross at the back post to send PSG into the last 32 and end Locmine's brave resistance.

It meant Ancelotti escaped unscathed from his first official game at the PSG helm, but the players and fans of Locmine -- 85 places below PSG in the French football pyramid -- are unlikely to forget their moment in the spotlight.

"It's cruel to lose like that, but what pride I have in my team," said Locmine coach Didier Noblet. "It's magic. It's the magic of the cup."

Locmine had threatened a stunning upset in the game's early stages, with Abou Maiga prodding the ball against the crossbar in the fifth minute, while Jordan Auger delighted the crowd by embarrassing Lugano with a deft back-heel.

PSG carried the greater goal threat, however, and eight minutes into the second half, Javier Pastore gave the away side the lead when he slid the ball home from a narrow angle after Locmine goalkeeper Erwann Flegeo parried his initial attempt.

Pastore then hit the bar after rounding Flegeo, and his inaccuracy was punished in the 72nd minute when Maiga calmly wrong-footed Salvatore Sirigu from the penalty spot after Mamadou Sakho had fouled Fabrice Peru.

With Locmine's fans urging their team forward, the stage appeared set for a nerve-jangling extra period, only for Lugano to break Locmine's hearts with practically the last touch of the game.

Earlier, Lyon booked their place in the last 32 with a 3-1 victory over fourth-tier neighbours Lyon-La Duchere, but Toulouse crashed out following a 1-0 loss at National (third-division) side GFCO Ajaccio.

Toulouse became the fifth Ligue 1 club to exit the tournament this weekend, after Brest, Lorient, Sochaux and Caen fell to lower-league opposition on Saturday.

Lyon were indebted to talismanic striker and captain for the day Lisandro Lopez, who netted a first-half hat-trick to take Remi Garde's side a step closer to ending the club's four-year trophy drought.

"It was the first match after the winter break and also a match that can sometimes be difficult to get out of," said Garde, whose side face Lille in the League Cup semi-finals this week.

"We'll obviously have to raise our level to overcome the obstacles that are coming up quickly, like Lille in the League Cup on Wednesday and then Montpellier in the league on Saturday."

Brest fell 2-0 at current National leaders Niort on Saturday, while Caen, Lorient and Sochaux all went down to teams from Ligue 2.

Auxerre required a Dariusz Dudka penalty three minutes from the end of extra time to see off valiant fifth-division Chambly 1-0, while there were also wins for top-tier sides Nice, Dijon, Ajaccio and Evian-Thonon-Gaillard.

Joe Cole scored his first career hat-trick as holders Lille thrashed sixth-division underdogs Chantilly 6-0, while Marseille crushed five-time cup winners Red Star 5-0 at Stade de France.

In the only all-Ligue 1 ties of the round, Rennes eased past Nancy 3-0 and Bordeaux beat Saint-Etienne 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 following extra time.


AFP

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