CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Sunday, August 14, 2011
Quentin Westberg posted a shutout for Evian in a win over OGC Nice while Carlos Bocanegra did not feature for St. Etienne after playing with the US national team on Wednesday.
Evian 1 - 0 Nice
Evian claimed their first victory in the Ligue 1 with a resounding win against the league's stragglers thanks to a gutsy goal from Tunisian striker Saber Khalifa.
Quentin Westberg stood in goal for the Savoyards, and earned the shutout in front of an energized home crowd in the Parc des Sports in Annecy.
Sidney Govou unleashed the first shot of the game within four minutes, taking a feed from Jérôme Leroy and blasting just inches over the bar of Nice minder David Ospina's net.
Nice's Eric Mouloungui showed off his attacking prowess in 13th minute, outsmarting a trio of Evian players, and sprinting past a fourth on his to fire over the crossbar.
The deadlock continued into the halftime locker rooms, but was broken after Saber Khalifa struck in the 51st minute. After Nice captain Didier Digard coughed up a ball in his own penalty area, the Tunisian sliced through the area to a few feet from the touchline, and threaded through a shot past David Ospina for the 1-0 lead.
Fifteen minutes later Khalifa nearly dished up another goal with space down the left side, but his cross to Govou in front of the net missed the mark.
With the final whistle Evian celebrated their first win at home in Ligue 1, while winless Nice saw the nightmare of last season carry on.
Evian turn their sights south to Corsica, where they meet AJ Ajaccio on on Saturday evening.
Late returning from US national team duty, Carlos Bocanegra was left off the gameday roster for St. Etienne's 1-0 win over Nancy.