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Rennes and Grenoble move into semi-finals

Latest update : 2009-03-19

Grenoble defeated Monaco to reach the first French Cup semi-final of its history. Rodez, who won against Paris in the previous round, was beaten by Rennes. The other two clubs to play the semi-finals are Guigamps and Toulouse.

AFP - Grenoble qualified for the French Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history after a comfortable 2-0 home win over Monaco on Wednesday.
Eliminated at the quarter-final stage in 1953, 2001 and 2005, Grenoble took a 13th-minute lead through 31-year-old striker Daniel Moreira, who failed to score a goal in two seasons for his previous club Rennes.
Another old hand, 34-year-old Nassim Akrour, killed off Monaco's hopes with a goal in the ninth minute of the second half.
It was Akrour's second key goal in a week, having scored an injury-time winner against troubled St Etienne in the league on Sunday.
That victory left Grenoble ninth in the championship, six points above the relegation zone with 10 games of the season remaining, and with a cup semi-final to come on April 21 or 22, Grenoble's first season in the top-flight in 45 years looks destined for an exciting climax.
Grenoble coach Mehmet Bazdarevic was overjoyed at creating club history but didn't want to stop there.
"The club has never gone as far as this in the French Cup," enthused Bazdarevic. "We are still there and we are going to do our best to continue and that there will be other even more beautiful pages to be written.
"Now, though, it is also retaining our place in the championship which interests us. We want to stay up but we also want to go to Paris for the final. What I would also wish for is to be at home in the semi-finals."
Monaco, meanwhile, continue to suffer from the inconsistency that has plagued the club since 2005, when they reached the semi-finals of the French Cup and finished third in the league.
Rennes later on Wednesday ended third-division Rodez's hopes of progressing further as they ran out 2-0 winners over the side that eliminated Paris Saint Germain in the previous round.
Toulouse and second-tier Guingamp had become the first sides to reach the last four when they won on Tuesday.

Date created : 2009-03-18