4th-tier Epinal beats Lille to reach French Cup quarters
PARIS (AP) — Fourth-tier club Epinal produced another French Cup upset by knocking out first-division Lille 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals.
Striker Jean-Philippe Krasso scored both goals for Epinal, which could meet fellow fourth-tier side Belfort in the last eight. Belfort beat first-division Montpellier in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.
“It’s magnificent,” Epinal coach Xavier Collin said. “The lads never gave up and they kept on applying the instructions and got their reward. We’re super happy and super proud.”
“You have to congratulate Epinal. We didn’t deserve much given how we played,” Lille coach Christophe Galter said. “It’s a big disappointment, it’s a bad night and a heavy defeat.”
Lille played in the Champions League this season and is in seventh place in the French league. An angry Galtier did not hold back in criticizing his players.
“Some are very far off from the level we expect from them,” he said. “We were second best in the challenges, we needed to show more desire. We have no right to play a match like this.”
Marseille’s right back Bouna Sarr showed just why he started his career as a right winger, collecting the ball on the halfway line and slaloming past four players before finishing confidently in the 32nd.
Playmaker Dimitri Payet coolly slotted home a penalty in the 43rd to make it 2-0 at Stade Velodrome, before Benjamin Cornet gave the visitors hope when he pulled a goal back in the 59th.
But after Strasbourg center half Abdallah Ndour was sent off near the end, Payet expertly dribbled his way from midfield to the edge of the penalty area on a counterattack and set up defender Boubacar Kamara in the fifth minute of injury time.
Marseille is unbeaten in all competitions since Oct. 30 under new coach André Villas-Boas, a streak of 13 games.