OM and AS Saint-Etienne beat Girondins de Bordeaux and Montpellier Hérault SC respectively on Thursday night to qualify for the EA League 1 Games final in Washington on Sunday, 22 July (21:00 EDT; 03:00 CET).
We now know who will contest the final of the inaugural EA League 1 Games. Victors over Girondins de Bordeaux at Audi Field in Washington on Thursday night (2-1), Olympique de Marseille will challenge AS Saint-Etienne, who beat Montpellier Hérault SC in the first semi-final earlier in the heat of the American capital (2-4).
Double for Payet
The second semi-final saw OM and the Girondins knocking the ball about well unable to really destabilise the Bordeaux defence. Just after the half-hour mark, Les Girondins accelerated, Yassine Benrahou crossing for Nicolas De Préville to see his header crash back off the post (35') in a nice move initiated by Yacine Adli. A few minutes later, Benrahou dropped a far-post corner on Pablo, who made no mistake from close range (0-1, 39').
After the interval, OM proved more incisive and Dimitri< rel="noopener noreferrer" a="" href="https://www.ligue1.com/joueur/payet-dimitri" target="_blank" data-mce-href="https://www.ligue1.com/joueur/payet-dimitri" /> Payet's double -scored in the space of five minutes - helped them to turn the situation around. OM's number 10 first took advantage of a Kevin Strootman interception to stroke past Benoît Costil and equalise (1-1, 52') before latching onto Bouna Sarr's pass from the right and slotting home (2-1, 57'). After a number of substitutions, André Villas-Boas' OM suffered more in the final minutes. Edson Mexer even hit the bar with a header from Benrahou's free kick (79'), but this dominance was not enough to get back on level terms.
Double for Debuchy
In the first semi, after a balanced opening half-hour, Les Verts opened the scoring thanks to Mathieu Debuchy. The right-back recovered the ball after Montpellier failed to adequately clear a free-kick and duly sent a powerful shot smashing in under the bar (0-1, 33'). This was a short-term advantage, however, as Vitorino Hilton equalised just two minutes later. On a counterattack he had started himself, the Brazilian veteran scored an opportunistic strike after Ruben Aguilar's shot was pushed back by Stéphane Ruffier (1-1, 37'). Then, just before the break, Montpellier were awarded a penalty after a breakthrough by new arrival Jordan Ferri. Gaëtan Laborde duly converted from the spot to hand Montpellier the lead (2-1, 45').
Another penalty was awarded shortly after the break, this time for ASSE. Rémy Cabella took charge and scored with an angled shot (2-2, 53'). Michel Der Zakarian changed all his outfield players for the second half, and Montpellier began to struggle. After an opportunity for Diony, Mathieu Debuchy followed up with his second, putting his side in the lead of this see-sawing encounter (2-3, 73'). A superb goal from Lois Diony, right in Dimitry Bertaud's top corner, allowed Les Verts to take the lead and punch their ticket for the final (2-4, 83').