A penalty goal from Ludovic Blas was enough for the Canaries to clinch their first title in 21 years on Saturday.
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Paris Saint-Germain’s successor is yellow and green. FC Nantes won the Coupe de France on Saturday May 7, beating OGC Nice in the final (1-0). During a disputed match, the Canaries made the difference twenty seconds after returning from the locker room by obtaining a penalty converted by Ludovic Blas (47th). The advantage acquired was never ceded, even if it took a double rescue from Alban Lafont and Andrei Girotto on his line, against Amine Gouiri then Andy Delort (71st), to avoid a Nice equalizer. The end of the match was tense, with the start of a brilliant fight in added time, but it did not prevent Antoine Kombouaré’s players from exulting at the final whistle.
The battle had already been won in the stands before the match when a gigantic tifo was deployed over the entire height of the stand where the Loire Brigade had taken up residence. Less than a year after having snatched its stay in the elite in extremis, in the play-offs, the Loire-Atlantique club offers itself the fourth Coupe de France in its history and its first title for 21 years. The end of the epic Calais in 2000 will not remain the last memory of coronation in the Coupe de France. Now is not the time for nostalgia, but for celebration.
Something strong had already happened when an irresistible momentum had pushed the supporters to invade the lawn of Beaujoire during the victory on penalties against Monaco in the previous round (2-2, 4-2 on pens). As if Nantes had finally finished eating its black bread. Next season, the Canaries will even be European because this coronation opens the door directly to the group stages of the Europa League, a competition they had not played in since 2001.
For OGC Nice, the wait continues, 25 years after the last title in the Coupe de France. The lack of realism of its twirling spearhead, Amine Gouiri, will have weighed heavily in the balance. For Christophe Galtier, the objective is now to re-motivate his players to obtain a European place in the championship. Three days from the end, the Aiglons are sixth, five points from a place in the Champions League, but only two from the Europa League.