Dijon’s defense falters late

Two goals in injury-time made for an exciting finale as St Etienne beat hosts Dijon 2-1 at the Stade Gaston Gerard.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle put the visitors in front with a 16th-minute strike but by the time 90 minutes were up there had been no further goals despite a series of chances for both sides.

Max Gradel finally scored a second for St Etienne three minutes into added time, with Eric Bautheac pulling one back for Dijon moments later.

Cedric Varrault could have put Dijon ahead early on were it not for Stephane Ruffier’s low save and instead it was St Etienne who took the lead.

Sinama-Pongolle was the scorer, collecting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cross and firing home.

Albin Ebondo unintentionally hit the post with a ball across the box that wrongfooted Baptiste Reynet.

Dijon were all at sea and could not find a way in to the game but they did not concede again before the break, Aubameyang and Gradel both denied by Reynet.

The break saw a shift in the momentum as Dijon came out with much more composure.

Benjamin Courgnet saw his header deflected off the line in the 53rd minute and Stephane Ruffier had to push Sanaa Altama’s effort wide soon after.

Dijon had started to dominate and only a superb Ruffier intervention stopped Bautheac’s stunning volley going in.

Fabien Lemoine had one decent shot from 25 yards for St Etienne but they had appeared out of ideas until the 93rd minute, when Gradel converted Banel Nicolita’s pass.

There was still time for Dijon to get a deserved goal, Brice Jovial and Mehdi Courgnaud combing to provide Bautheac with a close-range finish, but it was too little too late.