Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 19 News List

Toulouse overcome Marseille to reach semi-finals of Cup

AP, PARIS

Toulouse midfielder Tongo Doumbia, left, vies with Lassana Diarra of Olympique de Marseille during their Coup de la Ligue quarter-final at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse, France, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Olympique de Marseille’s lackluster season took another turn for the worse as the nine-time French champions bowed out of the Coup de la Ligue quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Substitute Martin Braithwaite scored an extra-time solo goal to give Toulouse a 2-1 win over Marseille, who have managed to win just one match over the past month.

“We struggled to keep the ball and lacked precision in the first half,” Marseille coach Michel said. “This is disappointing, especially because we felt quite at ease when playing away over the past few weeks.”

Without many first-choice players, including Remy Cabella and Romain Alessandrini, Marseille put on another disappointing display that will not ease the growing crisis at the southern club.

Marseille have been struggling since former coach Marcelo Bielsa’s departure last summer, with Michel unable to find a winning formula. Marseille have failed to win any of their past eight league games at home and sit in 11th place in the standings, 28 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Braithwaite, who has now scored three goals in his past three games with Toulouse in all competitions, beat two defenders before slotting the ball through goalkeeper Yohann Pele’s legs in the 99th minute.

Striker Wissam Ben Yedder gave Toulouse the lead in the 25th with his eighth goal in five games. Controlling a pass from midfielder Oscar Trejo with his left foot just inside the area, he expertly beat Pele with his right.

Ben Yedder, who has been linked with a potential move to Marseille during the winter transfer window, did not celebrate his goal.

Michel said recently that he hopes to sign the player.

Two minutes later, Marseille equalized when winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou struck from the left of the penalty area.

Pele twice saved headers from midfielder Tongo Hamed Doumbia after the break.

“We finished the match with eight players aged under 23,” Michel said when asked about possible arrivals at the club during the transfer window this month. “This statistic speaks volume, but we need to come to terms with it. [Marseille] officials are aware of the problem and are trying to solve it, but we need to consider every aspect of the situation; the players who are available, as well as the economic situation.”

Lille OSC advanced with a 4-2 win on penalties over En Avant de Guingamp after it was 0-0 at full time.

Paris Saint-Germain advanced with a 2-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais in their quarter-final.

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