Ligue 1 clubs avoid upset vs. minnows in Coupe de France

Evian forward Nicki Nielsen vies for the ball during his side's match vs. sixth-tier Bobigny.



Sixth-tier side Club Franciscain was brought to earth by Nantes in the French Cup as the three first top-flight teams to enter the tournament advanced on Saturday.

Nantes’ 4-0 victory, including a Club Franciscain own-goal, ended the visitors’ ambition to become the first side from the Antilles to reach the round of 32. The small club traveled from the Caribbean island of Martinique to take on the 2000 champions in heavy rain at Stade de La Beaujoire.

Evian-Thonon-Gaillard, the 2013 runner-up, also advanced with a 3-0 win at sixth-tier Bobigny courtesy. Playing on a poor surface, Evian didn’t score until the 68th minute.

Facing more sixth-tier opposition at Lusitanos Saint-Maur, Reims won 3-1 after overcoming a strong resistance from the Paris suburb team, which leveled through Sitou Ayi following Diego Rigonato’s opener. Gaetan Charbonnier put Reims back in command and Nicolas de Preville sealed the visitors’ win with an overhead kick.

At Nantes, Lucas Deaux opened the scoring with a well-taken shot from the edge of the box into the top corner after 14 minutes before Florian Narcissot headed the ball into his own net in the 32nd. The amateurs’ task was made nearly impossible early in the second half when Jorick Ephestion was sent off for a misjudged tackle on Issa Cissokho. Club Franciscain players looked spent in the closing stages, as Nantes scored twice more.

Later, Bastia hosted six-time winner Lille in a tie between two Ligue 1 sides.