Hamouma hits two as Saint-Etienne hold Toulouse
AS Saint-Etienne fought back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Toulouse FC, with Romain Hamouma the hero of the day at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
AS Saint-Etienne 2-2 Toulouse FC
Former France midfielder Yohan Cabaye was handed his maiden Sainté start following his summer transfer from Al Nasr and nearly opened his account for the club inside the first five minutes after getting the break of the ball following Wahbi Khazri's corner, but his half-volley flew narrowly wide (3'). Instead, it was Toulouse who opened the scoring. Timothée Kolodziejczak was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Leya Iseka in the home box, and former Saint-Etienne favourite Max Gradel stepped up to stroke home the resulting spot-kick for 1-0 (15'). Cabaye had another shot from range soon after - this time on target - but Baptiste Reynet in the Toulouse goal was equal to it (21'), and minutes later Le Téfécé pulled further clear. Ibrahim Sangaré sent Wesley Saïd through down the right, the former France U21 man crossed to the near post and Leya Iseka got there first to double the visitors' advantage with his first goal of the season (24'). Saïd's pace was causing plenty of problems in behind Kolodziejczak, and he had a pair of chances to make it 3-0 before the half was out, but Stéphane Ruffier made a pair of saves (38', 40') - the second despite a deflection off Yann M'Vila. Hamouma then snatched one back at the other end (39') and the sides went in for the break with Toulouse leading 2-1.
Hamouma completes the comeback
ASSE coach Ghislain Printant sent striker Robert Beric on for attacking midfielder Ryad Boudebouz at the start of the second half, and the Slovakian's presence helped the home attack. They had a penalty claim waved away after Beric had sent the ball in for Cabaye, who looked to have been fouled (49'), and they then deservedly pulled back onto level terms with Hamouma completing his brace after getting on the end of a Denis Bouanga cross that had been intended for Beric (56'). Toulouse then shifted up a gear for the final half-hour and were unfortunate not to pull back in front. Leya Iseka tried to catch Ruffier out at his near post from the edge of the area, but the shot-stopper got down well to quell the danger (64'). Efthimis Koulouris then came on for Leya Iseka and managed to steer an effort beyond Ruffier with his first touch of the ball, but the Greece striker's effort was ruled out for offside (65'). There was no letting up until referee Jérémy Stinat's final whistle, either. Khazri forced a fine save from Ruffier's opposite number Reynet (86') before Beric had a goal of his own disallowed (87'), and there was still time for VAR to rule out a third goal, with Toulouse full-back Issiaga Syalla denied at the last (90'+2).
THE PLAYER: Romain Hamouma
Hamouma has had to share playing time behind a main striker - normally Khazri - with Bouanga and Boudebouz so far this season, but on his day he remains one of Sainté's most effective players. The 32-year-old is the owner of more than 200 games for Saint-Etienne, but he has barely lost a yard of pace since first making his debut for the club in 2012. Toulouse had no answer for his late breaks into the box, and he was rewarded with his first top-flight brace for the hosts.
THE STAT: 8
Saint-Etienne have now gone eight games without defeat to Toulouse. The last time Le Téfécé beat Les Verts was August 2015, when Martin Braithwaite and Wissam Ben Yedder scored in a 2-1 victory at the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse.