Saint Etienne overcome Bordeaux test

Among French Cup matches the only clash between two first league teams ended with a 1-0 victory for Saint Etienne over Bordeaux. The surprise came when regional league club Romorantin beat top league team Nancy.


AFP - Saint Etienne ended their three-year losing French Cup record on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Bordeaux to reach the last 32 and keep coach Alain Perrin on course for an unprecedented Cup treble.

Bafetimbi Gomis grabbed the only goal of the game in the 76th minute on a treacherous and slippy surface at Bordeaux's Jacques-Chaban-Delmas stadium.

Bordeaux, coached by former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc, were missing a host of their South American stars who had been given permission to stay on their Christmas vacation.

That would have delighted Perrin who coached Sochaux to the 2007 French Cup title and repeated the success with Lyon last season.

"It's not the case that Alain Perrin is unbeatable in the Cup. It's a question of the coach having the luck to have players who are hungry to succeed," said Perrin.

Meanwhile, the amateurs of Schirrhein, who play in the seventh tier of the French system, defeated second division Clermont 4-2 after fighting back from 2-0 down.

Nancy were the top flight's biggest casualty losing to fourth division Romorantin 4-2 on penalties after the two sides had been locked 0-0 at the end of extra-time.

Auxerre were another first division to lose, going out to second division Ajaccio 3-2 in a shootout after the sides had been level at 1-1 after extra time.

Meanwhile, Lyon's march to a possible second successive league and cup double was put on hold when their tie at fourth division Concarneau was called off because of a frozen pitch.

Claude Puel, coach of the reigning seven-time league champions, believed the postponement of this last 64 fixture was "problematic" in scheduling terms though believed the game was "unplayable" on such a surface.

Referee Freddy Fautrel, who twice inspected the pitch, said the grass was "rock hard" and added he did not want to risk players getting injured.

First division outfits Le Mans, Grenoble and Lorient all needed penalty shoot-outs to progress to the last 32, the draw for which takes place on Sunday.

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