Gazélec secure historic promotion
Gazélec Football Club d'Ajaccio will play in Ligue 1 for the first time in their history next season after clinching a second consecutive promotion on Friday evening.
The Corsican minnows secured second place in Ligue 2 with a game to spare by beating Chamois Niortais 3-2 in a dramatic game at the Stade Ange-Casanova, although they were made to sweat a little. Congolese forward John Tshibumbu put Gazélec in control with a first-half brace only for Jimmy Roye to get a goal back for the visitors just after the restart. Rodéric Filippi quickly extended the hosts' lead again but a 54th-minute Seydou Koné goal ensured that Gazélec were hanging on for the rest of the game.
However, Thierry Laurey's side survived a nervy finish as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 games and made it 16 games unbeaten at their tiny ground, where 2,752 fans crammed in to watch history being made. That ground is set to be expanded over the summer but will still only hold around 5,000 fans for games against the giants of the French game next season.
Gazélec have never appeared in Ligue 1 and this is just their second season in the second tier in the last 22 years. They were playing in the fourth tier amateur ranks as recently as 2010-11. But now they can look forward to life in the top flight while their more illustrious cross-town rivals AC Ajaccio - who were playing in Ligue 1 last season - are currently fighting to avoid a second successive relegation.
ESTAC Troyes have already clinched the Ligue 2 title and a return to the top flight after a two-year absence while Angers SCO need just a draw from their final game next weekend to clinch promotion. If they lose, AS Nancy-Lorraine and Dijon FCO could yet pip them with wins in their final games.