Caen grabs thrilling win over Auxerre

Livio Nabab scored the winner as Caen came from behind to win 2-1 and bolster their survival prospects while leaving Auxerre in the relegation mire.

Roy Contout put Auxerre ahead after an hour, but Caen drew level through Kandia Traore after 71 minutes and Nabab completed the fightback six minutes later.

The win was Caen’s first at home in 2012 and lifts them six points above Auxerre, who stand 18th in the 20-team league, with three to go down.

Caen had the game’s first serious chance, when Frederic Bulot’s cross was missed on the volley by Nicolas Seube but ran through to Nabab. The striker drove the ball at goal but Olivier Sorin was equal to his effort.

Auxerre hit their hosts on the counter-attack as Dennis Oliech attacked with purpose down the left, shaking off Thomas Heurtaux before cracking a shot which brushed the left post.

From a good position, Caen’s Thomas Heurtaux sent his effort wide of the right post after a corner from Bulot.

Auxerre threatened directly from a free-kick on the left just before half-time. Dariusz Dudka fired over a dangerous cross and Alexis Thebaux had to be alert to push the ball wide of his near post for a corner.

At the outset of the second half, Caen pushed forward and a cross from the left by Aurelien Montaroup was met with a left-footed volley by Gregory Proment which rippled the sidenetting.

Then slack defending by Caen allowed Olivier Kapo a sight of goal, but Thebaux pushed the Auxerre man’s shot to safety.

On the hour, Thebaux pushed out a powerful free-kick by Dudka but only as far as to Contout who poked the ball into the empty net.

Traore and Nabab combined well for the equaliser. Initially Traore found Nabab on the right and he hesitated before playing a return pass to the substitute, whose clinical finish left Sorin with no hope.

The matchwinner soon followed as Nabab took up possession from Romain Hamouma, analysed his options 22 yards out from goal and decided against playing in Traore on the left, instead raking a clinical shot into the bottom right corner.

Auxerre had a late chance to equalise when Contout fed a pass to Ben Sahar, but the substitute could not bring the ball under control and Thebaux gathered.