Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 18 News List

PSG win keeps prospects for domestic season alive

AFP , PARIS

PSG player Clement Chantome, left, beats Nimes Cedric Horjak to the ball during the French Cup soccer match at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

Fallen giants Paris St Germain kept their domestic season alive with a comfortable 3-0 home victory over Nimes in the French Cup on Sunday.

Already out of the League Cup and fighting for their top flight lives in the league, the French Cup presents PSG with their only chance of domestic silverware.

And as the holders of the competition, following their 2-1 victory over Marseille in last year's final, PSG showed that quite unlike their league form, they are not willing to give up this ghost without a fight.

Two-goal hero Bonaventure Kalou warned against getting over excited by this victory at home to third division opposition, although any victory in this dismal season is welcome.

"You have to put this victory in perspective but we played well without lacking respect for our opponents," he said. "We had to stay in the same frame of mind [as Nimes]. It was important to win in a way that could kick-start the machine."

Any hopes Nimes had of causing an upset were shot halfway through the first period as PSG stormed to a 2-0 lead.

On nine minutes, Bernard Mendy sent a cross over to the back post and Portuguese forward Pedro Pauleta teed up his strike partner Kalou to slot home from close range.

The Ivory Coast international returned the favor on 22 minutes, getting his head to Gallardo's through ball to set up Pauleta for number two.

But the pick of the game's goals came in the second period.

Mendy played the ball down the right to Czech David Rozenhal whose subsequent one-two with Kalou played himself into a glorious shooting position.

What came next was quite unexpected as barely 10m from goal and with only the keeper to beat from the corner of the six yard box, Rozenhal played the ball back to Kalou to flick into an unguarded net, fooling everyone.

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