Tue, May 28, 2013 - Page 18 News List

LEAGUE 1: Lyon, Nice grab European spots

AFP, PARIS

Stade Rennais goalkeeper Benoit Costil, right, saves a shot by Olympique Lyonnais forward Lisandro Lopez in their Ligue 1 match at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France, on Sunday.Photo: AFP

OGC Nice forward Eric Bautheac, right, celebrates after scoring against AC Ajaccio in their Ligue1 match at the Stade Francois Coty in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica, France, on Sunday.Photo: AFP

Olympique Lyonnais secured their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League qualifying stages with a 2-0 victory over Stade Rennais on the final day of the Ligue 1 season on Sunday, while OGC Nice pipped LOSC Lille Metropole to a Europa League spot after winning 2-0 away to AC Ajaccio.

Lisandro Lopez scored a first-half penalty for Lyon at the Stade de Gerland after Onyekachi Apam handled in the area, before Clement Grenier’s stunning free-kick on 69 minutes wrapped up the points for Remi Garde’s side as they clinched third place to punch their ticket into Europe’s top club competition.

Meanwhile, Nice striker Dario Cvitanich notched his 19th goal of the season five minutes after halftime, before Eric Bautheac added a second 13 minutes from time as the Mediterranean club climbed above both AS Saint-Etienne and Lille to finish fourth and earn a place in next season’s Europa League.

A win at home to Saint-Etienne would have earned Lille a spot in the Europa League at the expense of Nice and the hosts appeared on track to do just that when Salomon Kalou prodded home the game’s opening goal just before the break.

However, a 59th-minute equalizer from Romain Hamouma earned Saint-Etienne, who finished the game with 10 men following the dismissal of Josuha Guilavogui, a share of the spoils and denied Lille a European adventure next season as the clubs finished fifth and sixth respectively.

At the other end of the table, ES Troyes AC’s late charge to avoid relegation came up short as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Valenciennes.

Needing a victory and also for SC Bastia to defeat Sochaux-Montbeliard, Benjamin Nivet gave Troyes genuine hopes of survival when he gave the visitors a 12th-minute lead, but a costly second-half own-goal by Florian Jarjat allowed the hosts to equalize, before Gregory Pujol dealt a fatal blow with an 89th-minute winner for Valenciennes as Bastia and Sochaux finished goalless.

Champions Paris Saint-Germain ended their campaign on a high note with a 3-1 win at Lorient, with David Beckham, who made the final appearance of his career last weekend, watching on from the stands.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his league-leading 30th goal of the season on 51 minutes to put the visitors ahead at the Stade du Moustoir, before turning provider for Kevin Gameiro on 63 minutes.

Gameiro then doubled his tally three minutes later after he was picked out by Javier Pastore.

PSG goalkeeper Ronan le Crom was sent off 10 minutes from time for bringing down Julien Quercia, with Arnaud le Lan pulling one back for Lorient after beating Mamadou Sakho, who donned the gloves with the visitors out of goalkeepers, from the ensuing penalty kick.

Elsewhere, Olympique de Marseille were held at home by Stade de Reims in a goalless stalemate, while a brace from Cheick Diabate earned Girondins de Bordeaux a 2-1 win over Evian Thonon Gaillard.

Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice to take his season’s tally to 15 as Toulouse beat Montpellier Herault 2-0, while AS Nancy-Lorraine triumphed 2-1 at Stade Brestois 29 in a pairing of already relegated sides.

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