Mon, Oct 26, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Gazelec Ajaccio stun Nice to win first Ligue 1 match


Struggling Gazelec Ajaccio stunned in-form OGC Nice 3-1 on Saturday as the Corsican side secured their first ever victory in Ligue 1.

Goals from Gregory Pujol, Roderic Filippi and Damjan Djokovic ended a run of four consecutive wins for the Riviera outfit, the league’s best attacking team.

Nice, who had scored 17 goals in their previous four matches, could not play with their usual pace and gave the ball away too frequently after conceding in the first minute when Pujol put the promoted side ahead with a volley from a tight angle.

Never before had Gazelec Ajaccio scored three goals in one match in the top division.

Nice leveled in the 12th minute when Filippi beat his own goalkeeper while trying to clear a cross, but he made amends 20 minutes later with a header as the hosts reclaimed the lead.

Djokovic then scored from a rebound on the stroke of halftime after goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale denied Amos Youga’s volley.

Despite Jerome Le Moigne’s sending off in the 87th minute, the hosts held on to move two points ahead of ESTAC Troyes, who were bottom ahead of yesterday’s trip to Girondins de Bordeaux.

Sixth-placed Nice are level on points with Stade Rennais, who held 10-man Lorient to a 1-1 draw with the help of goal-line technology.

Second-placed Angers SCO drew 0-0 with En Avant de Guingamp to move within four points of leaders Paris Saint-Germain, while goals from Ryad Boudebouz and Casimir Ninga gave Montpellier Herault a 2-0 victory over SC Bastia.

Angers were reduced to 10 men for the final 10 minutes after Slimane Sissoko was sent off for a two-footed tackle.

In Lorient, Poland international Kamil Grosicki came off the bench to cancel out Raphael Guerreiro’s opener in the Britany derby with a direct free-kick that goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte stopped with a two-handed save in the 68th minute, but replays confirmed the ball had crossed the line.

“With [goal-line technology], once a decision has been taken there is nothing left to argue with,” Rennes coach Philippe Montanier said. “Obviously, I found it great because it played in our favor. If it had not been the case, I would still like it.”

It was the first time that a French league goal was validated by the technology introduced this season.

Rennes’ equalizer came just two minutes after Lamine Kone was sent off for a second yellow card after he held back Giovanni Sio. The Rennes forward was expelled, too, in the 84th minute for a dangerous tackle.

Rennes remain one point ahead of Lorient and nine points behind PSG, who were due to host AS Saint-Etienne yesterday.

Portuguese leftback Guerreiro put the hosts in front in the 24th minute from Steven Moreira’s assist with his first goal this season.

Lorient had two more good chances to extend their lead through captain Yann Jouffre and Vincent Le Goff, before Sio was fouled by Kone as he raced toward goal.

The momentum switched to Rennes and Grosicki put the teams level. He came close to adding a second goal with a chip just wide in the 89th minute.

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