Aux­erre flab­ber­gast hold­ers Guingamp to reach Cup fi­nals

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Sec­ond di­vi­sion Aux­erre turned back the clock on past glo­ries as they beat hold­ers Guingamp 1-0 on Tues­day to reach the fi­nal of the French Cup.

Fred­eric Sam­mar­i­tano scored the only goal of the game for the un­fan­cied out­fit, cur­rently 8th in Ligue 2, af­ter 15 min­utes.

“We’ll sa­vor this achieve­ment. I’m very proud to coach this group, they de­serve to go through,” said Aux­erre coach Jean-Luc Van­nuchi.

“Our fi­nal was tonight, we won it. Now we’re go­ing into a new di­men­sion who­ever our op­po­nents will be.”

Sit­ting back, re­ly­ing on the pace of their coun­ters and de­spite be­ing down to 10- men when Jamel Ait Ben Idir saw red af­ter 73 min­utes, Aux­erre man­aged to hold out Guingamp, who fea­tured in the Europa League this sea­son and are cur­rently 11th in Ligue 1.

“We’re dis­ap­pointed be­cause we got so close to our goal. It’s tough, but we didn’t de­serve to go through,” ad­mit­ted Guingamp boss Jo­ce­lyn Gour­ven­nec.

Sam­mar­i­tano’s strike was enough for Aux­erre, who are no pushovers in the Coupe de France, hav­ing won five out of six matches they have played at this stage of the com­pe­ti­tion — that last de­feat com­ing in 1989 against Mar­seille. On four of those oc­ca­sions they went on to lift the Cup.

Rel­e­gated in 2012, Aux­erre won a league and cup dou­ble un- der leg­endary coach Guy Roux in 1996 while also lift­ing the Cup in 1994, 2003 and 2005.

Roux said: “See­ing Aux­erre re­turn­ing to the fi­nal af­ter 10 years, it doesn’t make me younger! I’m not very demon­stra­tive but my in­ter­nal joy was very real.”

The Bour­gogne side, who saw Eric Can­tona, Bacary Sagna and Abou Di­aby rise through their ranks, had pre­vi­ously knocked out Stras­bourg, Jura Sud Foot, Le Poire-sur-Vie and Brest.

Aux­erre will be the twelfth sec­ond-tier club to reach the fi­nal of the French Cup — the first since Guingamp beat Rennes in 2009.

The sec­ond semi­fi­nal sees in­jury-hit Paris Saint-Ger­main take on Saint-Eti­enne on Wed­nes­day, with the fi­nal set for May 30.

AFP

Aux­erre’s French mid­fielder Jamel Ait Ben Idir, left, and Aux­erre’s French de­fender Se­bastien Puy­gre­nier, cen­ter, vie with Guingamp’s French mid­fielder Sam­bou Yatabare, right, dur­ing the French Cup soc­cer match be­tween Aux­erre and Guingamp at the l’Abbe-Deschamps sta­dium in Aux­erre, France on Tues­day, April 7.

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