Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Dijon fight back to hold Nantes

Publish on 13/04/2018 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Kwon Chang-hoon scored (61') to cancel out Préjuce Nakoulma's opener for the hosts (33') as it ended 1-1 between Dijon FCO and FC Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

 FC Nantes 1-1 Dijon FCO 


Edged 2-1 by Claudio Ranieri's former club and soon-to-be-deposed Ligue 1 Conforama champions AS Monaco last Saturday, FC Nantes bounced into this clash in high spirits, and were inches way from taking the lead with the first attack of the game, but Emiliano Sala failed to get a toe on Léo Dubois' cross from the right (6'). Former Nantes defender Papy Djilobodji forced a save from Ciprian Tatarusanu following a Naïm Sliti corner (24'), but most of the traffic was flowing in the other direction, and Les Canaris deservedly took the lead when Nakoulma reacted quickest to stroke home from close range after another Sala chance - this time a header - had hit the woodwork (33'). Sliti slipped in Kwon at the other end with half-time approaching, but the South Korea winger could only find the outside side-netting (38') and the sides went into the break with Nantes in the ascendancy, both in terms of possession and the scores on the board.

Kwon cuts the mustard

Whatever Olivier Dall'Oglio said to his charges at the interval seemed to get them fired up, though, and they started the second have with relish. Benjamin Jeannot grazed Tatarusanu's post with a header (52') and it was nothing if not deserved when they made it 1-1, Kwon thumping home his ninth goal of the Ligue 1 Conforama campaign after Sliti slipped a pair of markers (61'). Nantes battled back in the final half-hour, with Adrien Thomasson - with a hand in five goals in his previous nine matches - inches away from making that six in ten with an effort from the edge of the box (66'). Dubois was a constant menace up the right-hand side, and the Nantes captain swung a deadly delivery in for Sala late on, but the Argentine's header sailed harmlessly into the hands of Baptiste Reynet (80') and it ended honours even.

THE PLAYER: Léo Dubois

Nantes academy graduate Dubois has come on leaps and bounds in recent seasons, and it speaks to his ability that he was both Nantes' best defensive player (winning 14 challenges down Dijon's left flank) as well as their best attacking outlet (whipping in eight crosses over the 90 minutes). Now Ranieri's captain, Dubois was unlucky not to find himself on the winning side, while full international recognition cannot be far away for the former France Under-21 full-back.


Without injured top scorer Julio Tavares, Dijon have only won 22 per cent of their matches in Ligue 1 Conforama this season. The Reds enjoyed a fine second half in Brittany, but with the Cape Verdean in their ranks it's easy to imagine that one point might have been three. The 11-goal striker is expected back next month following a thigh injury. His return will be very welcome.