Fri, Feb 07, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Lyon outclass Troyes to set up Coupe final showdown with PSG

AFP, LYON, France

Olympique Lyonnais’ Bakary Kone, right, challenges ES Troyes AC’s Ghislain Gimbert in their Coupe de France semi-final on Wednesday at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France.

Photo: Reuters

Olympique Lyonnais are set to play French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final after les Gones eked out a 2-1 win over Ligue 2 side ES Troyes AC at home on Wednesday.

Goals by Alexandre Lacazette — his 16th of the season — and Bafetimbi Gomis gave the hosts a 2-0 lead and although Brazilian Xavier Thiago reduced the deficit before halftime, Lyon held on in a game played with half the ground empty.

Lyon, who won the trophy in 2001 and have lost three times in the final, initially made light of being without their two main creative players: Yoann Gourcuff, who was injured, and the suspended Clement Grenier.

Lacazette, who had to fill the playmaking role, slotted home their opener in the 16th minute from defender Mehdi Zeffane while Gomis got in at the near post to convert Jimmy Briand’s pass 11 minutes later.

Troyes, who are sitting 11th in Ligue 2, got back into the game nine minutes after the break as Thiago profited from poor marking to score his first goal of the season.

It was no more than Troyes deserved after having gone close twice shortly before when Henri Bedimo blocked a goal-bound effort and Milan Bisevac then took the ball off Stephane Darbion’s feet as he squared up to shoot from close range.

Lyon too had chances to extend their lead, Gomis firing a shot that went narrowly wide and Arnaud Mvuemba’s free-kick being palmed away by Troyes goalkeeper Mathieu Dreyer.

Lyon faded in the second half, with Briand’s headed goal being ruled out for a marginal offside, while Lacazette’s shot was saved well by Dreyer five minutes from time.

Lyon, who slipped to their first defeat of the year on Sunday at Stade Rennais, will need to be at full strength against PSG, who beat them 4-0 on Dec. 1 last year in their Ligue 1 match.

The capital side secured their place in the April 19 final on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Nantes that saw Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic score a double.

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