Rennes sink Caen with late penalty
A late penalty by Ola Toivonen gave Stade Rennais FC a 1-0 victory against ten-man SM Caen in Le Mans on Saturday as Philippe Montanier's side extended their unbeaten sequence to three matches.
SM Caen 0 - 1 Stade Rennais FC
Toivonen struck from the spot with only two minutes left after referee Alexandre Castro appeared to spot a foul by Jordan Adéoti on Rennes substitute Philipp Hosiner. Toivonen had followed up to put the ball in the net only for the referee's whistle to cut short his celebrations. But the Swede made no mistake from the spot-kick, beating Rémy Vercoutre to score his third goal of a promising start to the campaign.
Rennes have now taken seven points from a possible nine since losing at Lyon on the opening day, but this was a cruel case of history repeating itself for Caen. The Normandy side have won both away matches so far this season, but have been beaten 1-0 in both games at their temporary home at the MMArena in Le Mans.
Against Lille earlier this month, Caen had a man sent off and lost 1-0, and it was the same this time after they had midfielder N'Golo Kanté dismissed in the first half. Patrice Garande's men will now be eager to get back to their own Stade Michel-d'Ornano, which is currently being used for the World Equestrian Games.
Julien Féret, playing against his former club, and Bengali-Fodé Koïta had opportunities for Caen before they were handicapped by the sending-off of Kanté for two yellow cards inside 25 minutes. Despite that blow, the Normans seemed determined to conquer all three points and Féret tested Benoît Costil from a free-kick. Indeed, they had 15 shots on goal altogether, and six on target, while Rennes mustered just one attempt on target all evening.
They had not threatened at all, much to the consternation of coach Montanier, a former Caen goalkeeper. But then came the penalty that allowed them to get their noses in front and gave Caen too great a hurdle to overcome in the final minutes.