Rennes survive late Evian comeback, seal French Cup quarters spot
Rennes sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the French Cup with a 3-2 victory over Ligue 1 rivals Evian on Tuesday.
Goals from Jires Kembo Ekoko, Julien Feret and Yacine Brahimi put the Brittany-based side firmly in the ascendancy, but the top-flight newcomers staged a spirited comeback to force a tense finish at the Stade de la Route de Lorient.
Kembo put Rennes in front on 21 minutes when his free-kick on the right from just outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection off former France international Sidney Govou and sailed into the far corner, leaving goalkeeper Stephan Andersen wrongfooted.
The hosts doubled their lead less than 10 minutes after the interval as Feret curled a precise effort low into the bottom left corner from 25 yards following a neat backheel from Jonathan Pitroipa.
Brahimi then made it 3-0 with a fiercely-struck shot from distance that clipped the inside of the post on its way in, seemingly putting the game out of reach.
Pablo Correa's side staged a furious fightback, however, with Kevin Berigaud pulling a goal back from the penalty spot on 70 minutes after Nicolas Farina was felled by Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik.
And Govou ensured an uncomfortable last quarter of an hour for the hosts when he further reduced the deficit just four minutes later, slotting home from Cedric Barbosa's cutback.
Barbosa came within inches of an improbable equaliser for the visitors, but his effort rebounded off the bar as Frederic Antonetti's side held on to become the first side through to the last eight of the competition.
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