CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, August 8, 2011
Americans in France's Ligue 1 both claimed points on the road, but Quentin Westberg gifted his hosts two on the opening day of the French top flight.
Bordeaux 1 - 2 St. Etienne
St. Etienne kicked the season off in the right direction with an important win at Bordeaux thanks to an own goal and a little bit of luck.
Recent call-up for new US head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, Carlos Bocanegra donned the captain's armband in a full ninety in the Stephanois backline.
St. Etienne's Bakary Sako did much of the work leading up to an own-goal after 18 minutes, charging down the left side, shaking off Bordeaux defender Mathieu Chalme, and crossing into the box, where Michael Ciani redirected his feed past Cedric Carrasso for the 1-0 gift.
Pierre Patrick Aubameyang doubled the advantage with a fortunate strike in the 31st minute, taking a chance on the loose ball on the right flank and arcing the strike over Carrasso's head from a tight angle for the 2-0 lead.
Bordeaux's Jussie gave the home crowd the only reason to celebrate in 56th-minute after coolly sending keeper Stephane Ruffier the other way on a penalty called for Sylvain Marchal's high-kick on Anthony Modeste.
With three points in their pockets, the Stephanois return to St. Etienne to host AS Nancy Lorraine next Saturday.
Brest 2 - 2 Evian
After taking a two-goal lead, a careless keeping error from Evian's Quentin Westberg allowed Brest to get back into game and finish with a point.
Westberg started for the LIgue 1 newbies and went a full ninety in an otherwise satisfactory outing aided by his teammates early offensive output.
In the 17th minute Olivier Sorlin wrote Evian history in explosive style with a one-timer, the club's first goal in its maiden voyage in Ligue 1. Jerome Leroy delivered a corner that the Brest defense thought they had cleared, but Sorlin met the clearance at the edge of the box for a blistering right-footer into the upper-left corner of Steeve Elana's net for the 1-0 lead.
Ali Mmadi followed up within three minutes with a fine solo effort, catching up with a long feed in the box, muscling off defender Johan Martial, and firing past Elana for the early 2-0 advantage.
Disaster struck for Evian and Westberg found himself with his head in his gloves after letting a Bruno Grougi free kick through in the 39th minute. The French midfielder's 30-yard delivery into the box came straight at Westberg, who looked to bat the ball away, but instead redirected it into his own net.
A minute before the intermission Brest midfielder Benoit Lesoimier evened the score with a screamer from the penalty spot, after Romain Poyet drove down the right touchline and picked him out for the blast past Westberg.
Still content with a point, the Savoyards host Nice next Saturday.