Rennes ruin Metz hopes of win
A late Stade Rennais goal denied FC Metz a rare win as the top-flight's bottom side were held 1-1 at home on Saturday.
FC Metz 1-1 Stade Rennais FC
Only one club in history had a worse record after 16 Ligue 1 Conforama games than Metz's four points before kick-off, but the hosts started without a care.
Renaud Cohade's early shot started things (6'), though Rennes — winners of their last three games — hit the bar through Edson Mexer (12') and then needed goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to dive at the feet of Adrien Hunou (15').
At the opposite end, Florent Mollet's free-kick brought a save from Tomas Koubek (20') before the Czech goalkeeper had to race back to tip over Fallou Diagné's audacious effort from just over halfway (38').
The hosts' enterprise was rewarded just before the break. Emmanuel Rivière picked out Mollet, who stepped sweetly away from Mehdi Zeffane before firing home his first-ever Ligue 1 Conforama goal (41').
Cohade and Rivière would have doubled that advantage but for a brilliant double save from Koubek (43'), and only the offside flag prevented Diagné from doing that just before the hour mark (57').
Metz appeared to be comfortable, and Kawashima's save from Faitout Maouassa suggested it would be their day (86'). But their hopes of a second league win of the season were dashed when Firmin Mubélé fired home Maouassa's cutback (87') with three minutes left to extend Rennes' unbeaten run to four matches.
THE PLAYER: Eiji Kawashima
The Japan international goalkeeper has been one of the rare stars of Metz's disappointing season. He again shone, keeping his side in it, and was unfortunate not to earn his team all three points.
THE STAT: 5
Metz have just five points from 17 games this season.