Sat, Feb 15, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Lyon’s hopes of Cup double end with Lens defeat

AFP, Paris

Pablo Chavarria of Racing Club de Lens, right, heads the ball over Olympique Lyonnais defenders Samuel Umtiti, left, and Henri Bedimo Nsame in their Coupe de France round-of-16 match at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Olympique Lyonnais’ hopes of a domestic Cup double were ended on Thursday as Remi Garde’s side were eliminated from the Coupe de France in the round-of-16, losing 2-1 after extra-time to second-tier Racing Club de Lens.

OL took the lead at the Stade de Gerland when Jimmy Briand headed home with just nine minutes played and it looked like that goal would be enough to take them through to a quarter-final tie away to AS Monaco next month.

However, Lens were handed a lifeline when Mehdi Zeffane brought down Adamo Coulibaly inside the penalty area a minute into stoppage-time and Pierrick Valdivia — who started his career with Lyon — converted from the penalty spot.

Lens, who were French champions in 1997-1998, but are currently battling to win promotion back to Ligue 1 after a three-year absence, went on to win the tie in extra-time.

The decisive moment arrived in the 94th minute when young defender Jean-Philippe Gbamin took advantage of hesitant goalkeeping by Remy Vercoutre to head home a corner.

While Lens can look forward to a trip to the principality next month, Lyon’s hopes of silverware now appear to rest with the Coupe de la Ligue, in which they meet Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the final in April.

Only four Ligue 1 sides have made it through to the Coupe de France quarter-finals, with Monaco advancing thanks to a 1-0 extra-time win at Cote d’Azur rivals OGC Nice on Wednesday, in which Dimitar Berbatov scored the winner, his first goal since arriving from Fulham last month.

Stade Rennais take on LOSC Lille Metropole in the only quarter-final between two top-flight sides, while 2009 winners top-tier En Avant de Guingamp travel to AS Cannes.

Fourth-tier amateurs Cannes, the club where Zinedine Zidane started his career, knocked out AS Saint-Etienne on penalties in the round-of-64 and followed that up by beating Montpellier Herault 1-0 after extra-time on Tuesday.

Montpellier had beaten Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round, but came up short on a poor pitch on the south coast, although they were also left to rue a missed penalty by Mbaye Niang in extra-time.

The other quarter-final tie sees Angers SCO, of Ligue 2, travel to AS Moulins, an amateur club from central France.

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