Lyon fights back to reach cup final

Lyon reached the League Cup final by beating Lorient 4-2 in extra time on Tuesday after fighting back from two goals down to score a stoppage-time equalizer.

Lorient striker Innocent Emeghara opened the scoring in the 59th minute before winger Kevin Monnet-Paquet doubled the lead from a tight angle in the 68th.

But Alexandre Lacazette kept Lyon’s hopes alive by scoring in the 80th, and Lyon substitute Jimmy Briand forced extra time by heading in a corner in the last minute of injury time.

Bafetimbi Gomis beat goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte in the 12th extra minute to give Lyon the lead. Lacazette capitalized on a counterattack in the last minute to seal the win.

”It was a true cup match with those momentum swings,” Lyon coach Remi Garde said. ”We had the luck but also the strength to go and get the equalizer in the 90th minute. In extra time, we developed more our plays and made the difference with our mental and physical strength.”

Lyon dominated early in the scoreless first half and were denied several times by Lecomte, but Lorient fought back in the last 20 minutes before the break and even had a shot cleared off the line by Lyon fullback Aly Cissokho.

Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved his team on the stroke of halftime by stopping an angled effort from Emeghara.

Lorient tortured Lyon through its pacey forwards and took the lead when Alaixys Romao played Emeghara in, the Swiss forward cutting inside Brazilian defender Cris to shoot past Lloris.

The hosts added a second goal after some fine work from Emeghara, who made a run from midfield to feed Lucas Mareque. The Lorient fullback hesitated inside the area and lost possession, but Monnet-Paquet pounced on the loose ball to fire home an angled shot.

Lorient had chances to make it 3-0.

Barthelme beat Lloris with a low strike in the 72nd but Lyon fullback Anthony Reveillere stretched out his right foot to clear the ball off the line. Mareque then dribbled past Cris in the 73rd but could only hit a tame shot straight at Lloris.

Lyon pulled a goal back in the closing minutes with a powerful drive from Lacazette.

Lecomte denied Michel Bastos in the 87th but he couldn’t stop Briand’s header off a corner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Lorient coach Christian Gourcuff was left fuming after the equalizer as only two minutes of injury time had been announced.

In extra time, Lacazette slipped inside the area as he was about to shoot but an opportunistic Gomis pounced to beat Lecomte.

Lloris preserved the win by palming a free kick from substitute Yann Jouffre over the bar in the 104th minute and parrying a low drive from the same player in the 112th.

Gomis then led a counterattack and found Bastos inside the area in the 120th. The Brazilian winger slipped the ball to Lacazette, who slotted into an empty net to round out the scoring.

Titleholder Marseille hosts Nice in the second semifinal on Wednesday.