Sat, May 05, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Auxerre climb out of drop zone

AFP, PARIS

Dijon FCO’s Brice Jovial, second right, performs an overhead-kick in front of AJ Auxerre’s Willy Boly, left, in their Ligue 1 match in Dijon, France, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

AJ Auxerre climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since January and dragged Dijon FCO deeper into the bottom three with a 2-0 win at their relegation rivals in Thursday’s Ligue 1 game.

After Sunday’s 4-0 thrashing of Stade Brestois 29, it was the first time Auxerre had registered back-to-back wins this season.

Victory lifted them out of the relegation zone on goal-difference with three matches of the season remaining.

“It’s our first away victory this season and it’s important,” said Auxerre coach Jean-Guy Wallemme, who replaced the sacked Laurent Fournier in March. “Nothing is over yet. I’m happy for my team, because they never stopped believing that survival was possible.”

Dijon and Brest are both level on 34 points with Wallemme’s side, but the defeat saw Dijon fall to second-bottom.

Roy Contout made the breakthrough in the 30th minute at the Stade Gaston Gerard, stooping to head Alain Traore’s left-wing cross inside the right-hand post.

Brice Jovial rattled the Auxerre crossbar in the 75th minute, before substitute Delvin N’Dinga strolled through the hosts’ defense and beat Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet to seal victory in the 86th minute.

Auxerre, who competed in last season’s Champions League after a third-placed finish in 2009-2010, host Girondins de Bordeaux on Monday, before visiting Olympique de Marseille on May 13 and they finish the season at home to current league leaders Montpellier Herault.

Dijon have now lost their past five games in Ligue 1 and they visit Lorient on Monday.

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