Lyon's Saïd Benrahma and teammates celebrate their win over Strasbourg
Coupe de France

Coupe de France Recap: OL best Strasbourg on penalties

Coupe de France Recap: OL best Strasbourg on penalties

Coupe de France
Publish on 02/28 at 00:30 - E. DEVIN


After a hard-fought scoreless draw in which neither side had much in the way of clearcut chances, the hosts advanced to the Coupe de France semifinals, in a penalty shootout

The first of three Coupe de France quarterfinals involving Ligue 1 teams, Tuesday night's clash at the Groupama Stadium saw two sides face off who entered the match in radically different form.

Buoyed by a raft of January signings and the managerial nous of Pierre Sage, Lyon had reeled off six straight wins, moving away from the relegation scrap to the safety of midtable, as well as advancing to this stage of the Coupe de France. Strasbourg, on the other hand, haven't won in the league since beating LOSC Lille in late December, and have edged down the table towards the relegation places.

Putting league form aside was the order of the evening though -- both managers put out very strong sides, with only Lucas Perri's replacing Anthony Lopes a notable deviation from a first-choice eleven. While Perri would prove decisive come the penalty shootout, even in a lively atmosphere, neither side offered much in the way of chances in the match's early going.

Lyon, buoyed by their home supporters, were dominating the ball, but Strasbourg, playing a 3-4-3, resisted heroically, and Alaa Bellaarouch had little to do in the visitors' net. Halftime came and went without either team fashioning a presentable chance.

After the break, though, Lyon seized the initiative, and almost scored directly from a corner as Saïd Benrahama's effort came off the far post on 56 minutes. The near-goal seemed to awaken both teams, and there were chances at both ends as the half wore on, with Habib Diarra heading narrowly over the bar and substitute Gift Orban forcing Bellaarouch into a smart save ten minutes from time.

Following five minutes of stoppage time, the match headed to penalties, and it was Perri who would prove the hero, saving the first penalty from Thomas Delaine. The next seven takers all scored theirs, and with the match on the line, Lucas Perrin hit his effort over the bar, allowing the hosts to win the shootout, 4-3, concluding a drama-filled evening with a place in the semifinals for Les Gones.

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