Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Mothiba spot on for Strasbourg at Nantes

Publish on 24/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Lebo Mothiba's second-half penalty was the only goal of the game as RC Strasbourg-Alsace ended the 2018/19 Ligue 1 Conforama season with victory at FC Nantes on Saturday.

 FC Nantes 0-1 RC Strasbourg Alsace

Nantes had the Indian sign over their opponents, who had failed to take any points in three meetings with the Breton club since returning to the top flight last season. With Vahid Halilhodzic's side also unbeaten in their last seven league games before kick-off, they started favourites.

They struggled to live up to that billing, however, and only seriously threatened to break the deadlock for the first time in the second half when Kalifa Coulibaly's header flashed just wide of Eiji Kawashima's left-hand post (52').

After qualifing for the Coupe de la Ligue final, which they won, Strasbourg's form tailed off badly, and Thierry Laurey's side had won just one of their previous 15 matches.

They were helped out by VAR, which was used to decide Nicolas Pallois' last-ditch challenge on Lebo Mothiba had been a foul, and the South Africa international sent Alexander Olliero the wrong way from the spot (60').

Anthony Walongwa (73') and then Coulibaly (86') in particular — the striker headed across goal when he should have headed into it — had opportunities to level for Nantes, but they were unable to prevent their side slipping to a first home defeat to Strasbourg since June 1971.

THE PLAYER: Lebo Mothiba
Where would Strasbourg be without the goals of the forward they picked up from LOSC Lille late in the summer transfer market? A lot lower down the table, is the answer.

This was the first time in their last 30 top-flight meetings with Strasbourg that Nantes have failed to score.