AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
PARIS: Lyon saw off feisty third-tier outsiders Quevilly 1-0 to win the French Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday, Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez’s goal saving the French giants’ blushes.
Lisandro’s first half strike ended a four-year trophy famine for Lyon and gave coach
Remi Garde his first silverware since assuming control at the Stade Gerland. For Quevilly it was the end of a glorious run which
had seen the amateurs from Normandy overcome Marseille and Rennes en route to
their second Cup final appearance, 105 years after their first.
After a typically frenetic Cup opening it was Lyon who almost took a ninth-minute lead when Lisandro expertly controlled a cross from the left only to see his shot ricochet off Quevilly goalkeeper Yassine El Kharroubi’s near post.
With France President Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, his rival in next week’s presidential run-off, in the stands Lyon then lost Dejan Lovren who was stretchered off in tears with what looked like an Achilles tendon injury. The Croatian international defender was replaced by Bakary Kone.
Quevilly were being made to suffer by the hot favourites who were only denied a goal in the 24th minute when Frederic Weiss saved Alexandre Lacazette’s shot on the line with El Kharroubi beaten. Bafetimbi Gomis then headed the rebound wide from close range.
Lyon got the goal their superiority deserved five minutes later when El Kharroubi
rushed out of his goal to snuff out the risk posed by Lacazette charging down the right. The 20-year-old striker then succeeded in getting a cross into the box for the unmarked Lisandro to rifle a half volley right-footed into an empty goal.
The Argentine forward’s strike settled the multi-millionaires’ nerves as they sought
to avoid being ridiculed in this David and
Goliath clash and at the same time erase
the memory of this month’s League Cup final loss to Marseille.