Saint-Etienne beat Lille to reach quarter-finals

Reuters, PARIS

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 - Page 18

AS Saint-Etienne’s remarkable season continued on Tuesday when they reached the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France with a 3-2 home win against LOSC Lille Metropole.

Saint-Etienne, who are still on course for a Champions League playoff spot and will play in the Coupe de la Ligue final in April, prevailed with an Aurelien Chedjou own-goal, and strikes by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Brandao.

Marko Basa had opened the scoring in the first half, but it proved to be a fluke as the visitors were outplayed throughout the game.

Elsewhere, Evian Thonon Gaillard beat second division side Le Havre AC 3-1 thanks to a Kevin Berigaud double.

ES Troyes AC snatched a 2-1 win at Sochaux-Montbeliard to advance into the last eight.

At Stade Geoffroy Guichard, Saint-Etienne, who are fifth in Ligue 1 and two points away from the Champions League playoff spot, fell behind on 33 minutes, when defender Basa headed home from a Dimitri Payet free-kick.

On the stroke of halftime, Saint-Etienne leveled after ‘keeper Steeve Elana’s clearance bounced on to centerback Chedjou into the goal.

Les Verts pulled away five minutes into the second half, when Aubameyang netted with a low cross shot after collecting a superb Mathieu Bodmer through ball.

Brazilian striker Brandao made it three in the 75th minute after being set up by midfielder Renaud Cohade, with Salomon Kalou reducing the arrears eight minutes from time when Stephane Ruffier parried a Payet shot into his path for the Ivory Coast forward to poke home.