CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, May 30, 2011
Quentin Westberg and Evian clinched the Ligue 2 championship in a goal fest, while a late Carlos Bocanegra foul saw Paris St. Germain tie things up against St. Etienne in the final weekend of Ligue 1 action.
AS St. Etienne 1 - 1 Paris St. Germain
Paris St. Germain nabbed a late penalty to put a damper on St. Etienne's end-of-season celebrations at Stade Geoffroy Guichard.
Carlos Bocanegra started and went a full ninety, and was also the culprit of referee Philippe Kalt's penalty call that resulted in a tie.
Both sides created opportunities in a relatively even first half, but St. Etienne took charge after the halftime break and finally opened the scoring after 70 minutes. In a collective effort the Stephanois offense worked the ball around to the right side, where Josuha Giulavogui fired past the fallen Grégory Coupet to take the 1-0 lead.
Just when a seventh place finished looked minutes away, referee Kalt saw too much contact between Jean-Eudes Maurice and Bocanegra, and pointed to the spot. Mathieu Bodmer stepped up for the 91st minute-penalty and found the roof of the net for the 1-1 draw.
St. Etienne finish the season in tenth with 49, while PSG settle for fourth.
Bocanegra heads to Cary, NC to join the U.S. men's national team in their pursuit of the Gold Cup.
Evian TG FC 4 - 3 Metz FC
Evian got the win they needed to claim the Ligue 2 championship, in addition to their spot in next season's Ligue 1.
Stand-in keeper Quentin Westberg gladly filled the role between the posts for the Savoyards, and survived a persistent Metz attack.
Metz came out to spoil the party and got on the board first in the 17th minute when Mahamane Traore laid ahead for Diafra Sakho at the top of the box to one-time neatly over Westberg for the 1-0 lead.
The hosts made getting back into a match look easy two minutes after the break when Cédric Barbosa telegraphed a corner to Aldo Angoula, who nodded forward for the 1-1 equalizer
With the crowd back to life, Frenchman Ali Mmadi brought the stadium to its feet and Evian into the 2-1 lead with a breakaway strike down the left side, the first goal in the first start for the 21-year old.
Norwegian veteran Alexander Odegaard revived Metz's hopes in the 59th minute, when a quick left-footer somehow found its way through four Evian defenders and Westberg to keep the game close at 2-2.
Yet, Evian responded in the 64th minute after Felipe Saad sneaked in behind the crowd at the back post and headed forward a long Kévin Berigaud free kick to retake the lead, 3-2.
Youssef Adnane added the eventual game-winner in the 71st when Yannick Sagbo crossed through the box on a 3-1 breakaway for the French striker on the far left to tap home and claim the 4-2 advantage.
Diafra Sakho had the Evian faithful biting their nails until the end after bringing the score to 4-3 in the 81st minute. The Senegalese striker corralled a pass just behind the Evian backline, steered around Westberg unguarded, and slotted home for the easy comeback goal.
Evian held on for the win and finished with 67 points and a comfortable 3-point cushion over AC Ajaccio.