Tue, Jan 24, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Marseille narrowly avoid shock home defeat to Le Havre

Reuters, PARIS

Olympique de Marseille avoided a shock home loss to second division Le Havre by scoring twice in extra-time to reach the French Cup round-of-16 with a 3-1 win on Sunday.

The 10-time Cup winners struggled after the Ligue 2 team took an early lead, before putting together a combination of tough defense and lightning counterattacks.

Earlier, Olympique Lyonnais were also made to work hard and they needed two late goals to seal a top-flight clash with Girondins de Bordeaux with a 2-0 win at fourth-tier Lucon.

France forward Bafetimbi Gomis gave Lyon the lead with 15 minutes left and Lisandro Lopez made sure of the victory when he scored from close range after initiating a quick counterattack with a minute to go.

In Marseille, Le Havre offered even tougher opposition and took the early lead in the fifth minute when forward Ryan Mendes was set up from long range and ran through to shoot past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.

Didier Deschamps’ squad had their chances before the interval and they finally hit back when striker Brandao headed in a Morgan Amalfitano pass which Le Havre goalkeeper Johny Placide failed to claim.

Le Havre, France’s oldest professional team, could have stunned their hosts in the last minute, but midfielder Alexandre Bonnet missed an opportunity in front of an empty net.

Midfielder Amalfitano finally gave Marseille the lead during extra-time with a powerful shot from outside the box and Loic Remy scored a last-minute goal.

Also on Sunday, third-tier GFCO Ajaccio knocked out Ligue 2 Troyes thanks to a second-half goal by Mickael Colloredo.

Foued Kadir scored either side of the interval to help top-flight Valenciennes recover from a goal down to beat second-tier Bastia, who were down to 10 men.

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