Sochaux stun Marseille on penalties
By A. Scott
Olympique de Marseille were sent packing from the Coupe de la Ligue in the round of 16 on Tuesday, losing 4-3 on penalties to FC Sochaux-Montbéliard of Ligue 2 after a 1-1 draw.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 1 - 1 Olympique de Marseille - Sochaux win 4-3 on penalties
Rudi Garcia's side travelled to the Stade Bonal fresh from recording back-to-back wins in Ligue 1 and the OM coach opted to rotate his squad in the midst of a busy run of fixtures in the league. There was a debut for 17-year-old Boubacar Kamara at right-back while Bouna Sarr, Dória and Saîf-Eddine Khaoui all came into the visiting line-up with starlet Maxime Lopez among the players rested.
Sochaux, the only surviving team from outside the top flight, are fighting for promotion in Ligue 2 and they showed their battling qualities in front of a large crowd on a bitterly cold night. On-loan Nice winger Franck Honorat forced a save from ex-Sochaux goalkeeper Yohann Pelé, who also denied Adolphe Teikeu at the end of a well-worked set-piece.
Marseille looked to have done the hard part by opening the scoring midway through the first period when Khaoui - on his first start since August - cut the ball back from left for Sarr, who took a touch on the edge of the box before firing high into the net.
However, Sochaux kept going and drew level in the 36th minute as Honorat exchanged passes with Faneva Andriatsima down the left before delivering a cross. Florin Bérenguer could not control it but Sao took a touch before curling a low shot past Pelé into the bottom-left corner.
Sochaux then dug deep and did their best to thwart Marseille. The top-flight side had the best chances, with Jérôme Onguéné blocking a Khaoui attempt on the line before Christopher Dilo turned Sarr's follow-up over the bar. From the resulting corner Dilo produced another important stop to deny André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and the Sochaux goalkeeper denied Jorge Rolando in a second half low on chances.
With the tie all square after 90 minutes the teams went on to penalties. Florian Tardieu was denied by Pelé with Sochaux's first kick but Dilo - usually Sochaux's third-choice goalkeeper - saved Marseille's fourth and fifth kicks from Dória and Aaron Leya Iseka and Goran Karanovic then rolled in the winning penalty.
THE PLAYER: Boubacar Kamara
The highly-rated 17-year-old was handed his top-team debut at right-back by Rudi Garcia but endured a torrid evening at times. He was pulled out of position for Sochaux's equaliser and ended up being replaced late on by Hiroki Sakai.
THE STAT: 3
This was the third time in four ties in the Coupe de la Ligue this season that Sochaux have won on penalties. They also won the Coupe de la Ligue final and Coupe de France final on penalties in the last decade.