Evian romp into Coupe de France final
By S. Willis
Evian turned on the fireworks in their semi-final clash at home to Lorient on Wednesday, thrashing the Brittany side 4-0 to secure a first-ever Coupe de France final berth for a club from the Haute-Savoie region.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Coupe de France semi-finals
Evian TG FC 4 - 0 FC Lorient
Coming off three consecutive league defeats was hardly the best preparation for the side from the French Alps, but Evian overcame their poor Ligue 1 form - and a shaky first few minutes - to utterly dominate Lorient and run out big winners at Annecy's Parc des Sports.
There may have been a here-we-go-again feeling for the home fans as Yann Jouffre was played in by Kévin Monnet-Paquet in the first minute, but the midfielder's shot grazed the outside of the upright and Evian quickly took the upper hand.
Dynamic and explosive, Evian began to run rings around their visitors, with Serbian international Milos Ninkovic working a neat one-two with Yannick Sagbo on the edge of the area before skinning his man and calmly side-footing past the helpless Benjamin Lecomte (10').
Côte d'Ivoire international Sagbo then turned scorer when the excellent Eric Tie Bi flicked a corner towards the far post (20') before Evian's Coupe de France top scorer Kévin Bérigaud made the most of a Lecomte howler to bag his fourth of the campaign and send his side into the break 3-0 up.
Although Lorient started slightly better in the second half after coach Christian Gourcuff brought Benjamin Corgnet and Grégory Bourillon on for Jouffre and Maxime Baca respectively, Les Merlus barely has a glimpse of goal.
Baoia wraps it up
And when top scorer Jérémie Alidaière was subbed off injured on the hour-mark, Lorient's pressure on the home goal all but evaporated and young substitute Nadjib Baouia made certain sure of Evian's ticket for the final when, unmarked at the far post, he calmly half-volleyed Tie Bi's cross past the hapless Lecomte and into the back of the net with the outside of his right foot.
The Parc des Sports faithful erupted into jubilant celebrations at the final whistle, but they will have to wait until Tuesday, May 14 - when Troyes take on Bordeaux in their postponed semi-final clash - to know whom they will face at Stade de France in just over three weeks' time.