Mon, Jan 07, 2008 - Page 18 News List

French giants PSG, Marseille survive to reach last 32 of cup

AGENCIES , PARIS

Struggling Ligue 1 sides Marseille and Paris Saint Germain kick-started the New Year on a winning note after winning French Cup matches on Saturday.

Marseille beat minnows Beauvais 2-0 to book their place in the last 32, while Paris Saint Germain also won 2-0 at Epinal.

It was welcome success for Marseille and PSG, who, although normally among France's most successful clubs, find themselves in the bottom half of the league table.

Ten-time French Cup champions Marseille had little trouble in brushing aside their national division club opponents as first-half goals from Lorik Cana and Djibril Cisse went unanswered.

Cana opened the scoring for Marseille when he acrobatically scissor-kicked home a rebound from a free-kick 24 minutes in.

Cisse, who has failed to find the back of the net in all competitions since late October, doubled the scoreline eight minutes later with a clinical finish off a Mamadou Niang pass.

PSG, who have won the French Cup on seven occasions, thanked first half goals from Clement Chantome and Sylvain Armand for their 2-1 victory over fourth division club Epinal.

"Mission accomplished," said under-fire PSG coach Paul Le Guen. "It's good because the conditions were a little difficult with a tricky pitch. This could have been a booby-trap for us but we came through it well."

Caen, fourth in the top flight, were knocked out by second division Sedan 3-2.

Alexandre Bonnet, Moussa Sow and Djamel Abdoun were on target for Sedan with Lilian Compan and Yoan Gouffran finding the net for the top flight UEFA Cup hopefuls.

It was Caen's first defeat in two months.

Ligue 1 Le Mans needed extra time to overcome the fierce resistance of fifth-division Selongey.

The amateur players from a town of 2,500 inhabitants in eastern France were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes but finally bowed out 3-2 after extra time, with Serbian defender Marko Basa scoring the winner in the 100th minute.

In Friday's curtain-raising match of the round when top flight sides enter the French Cup, Racing Lens, third from bottom in Ligue 1, were knocked out 1-0 at home by second division Niort.

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