OM, PSG book quarter-final berths
By S. Willis
Marseille didn't falter as they beat Bourg-Péronnas 3-1, Brandao bagging a double, while Paris Saint-Germain had a nervier time as they held off a spirited Dijon side to win 1-0 - thanks to a Nene goal - and join OM in the quarter-finals.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Coupe de France, last 16
Marseille 3 - 1 Bourg-Péronnas (CFA, D4)
OM's in-form striker Brandao hit two in the first half, with Ghana star Jordan Ayew bagging another after the break to secure OM's passage to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over CFA (D4) side Bourg-Péronnas at the Stade Vélodrome.
Although Ousmane Diaby did pull one back in the 78th minute for the valiant and well disciplined amateurs from the Rhône valley, Marseille never looked like going astray in the match, controlling play from beginning to end.
Brandao on the goal trail
The visitors did themselves proud with a rigorous display but with Brandao ghosting in at the near post (28') and slotting home comfortably from Morgan Amalfitano's assist (45'+2), they were on the back foot going into the break.
Back from AFCON duty with Ghana, Jordan Ayew made the most of Benoît Cheyrou's delightful pass to hammer one in from distance (54') to put the game beyond Bourg-Péronnas' reach despite Diaby's making the most of a free-kick blocked by the wall to pull one back (78').
It was a deserved win for Didier Deschamps' men, and send the club into the quarter-finals for the first time since season 2006-07, when they went on to take the Coupe de France title against Sochaux.
Dijon 0 - 1 Paris Saint-Germain
A brilliant opportunistic strike from Nene early in the first half was enough to decide this thrilling tie between PSG and Dijon, the men from the capital running out 1-0 winners despite a dangerous late surge from the Burgundy-based hosts.
Dijon defended well against a heavily rotated PSG side, but coach Patrice Carteron may well be ruing the decision to do some rotation of his own after reserve 'keeper Baba Tchagouni - in for Baptiste Reynet - gifted PSG the only goal of the game.
The Togo international made a meal of a simple back pass, taking too heavy a touch and letting Nene knock the ball past him before the Brazilian maestro finished from an almost impossible angle to make the break (14').
Despite Dijon's best efforts for the rest of the match, notably through the dangerous Brice Jovial and subsititute Gaël Kakuta, who pushed hard at the death and went close on several occasions to equalise and force extra time, PSG held firm to secure their place alongside OM, Montpellier, Valenciennes, Lyon, Rennes and third-division surprise packet Gazelec Ajaccio in the quarter-finals.