22 March 2012 | à 22h57

In the final four!

Coupe de France, Valenciennes 1 - 3 Stade rennais. Stade Rennes will play the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. Frédéric Antonetti’s players have logically won a game they dominated solidly. Despite the equaliser from the Northerners at the half-hour, Romain Danzé’s team-mates finally managed to affirm their superiority in the second half.

In the final four!

From the start of the game, Julien Féret was agonisingly close to give Valenciennes an immediate punishment, but Penneteau intervened in front of the Breton midfielder. Rennes had started the game in full force and it looked good for the “Rouge et Noir”. At the eleventh minute, the unfortunate David Ducourtioux headed the ball back in his own penalty area straight for Pitroipa, who prolonged it into the Valenciennes goal. (0-1, 11’). Stade Rennais could not dream of a better start. Valenciennes tried to react, but Daniel Sanchez’ players were particularly tense in these early stages.
With the half-hour mark approaching, Rennes was in full possession of the ball and perfectly monitoring the pitch, making the Northern team perfectly inoffensive. However, and against the run of play, Gaël Danic escaped on the right wing and crosses for Samassa who equalised with a powerful header. The ball hit the inside of the post before entering Benoit Costil’s goal. (1-1, 31’).

A spell of domination would follow for Valenciennes, resulting in a penalty appeal in the Rennes area, but the referee didn’t budge. At the 38th minute, the Rennais were close to getting back in the lead following a good movement, but Théophile-Catherine could not beat Penneteau.
A few seconds later, Kadir was dismissed for an aggression on Rennes’ international midfielder Yann M’Vila. The Rennais remained on the floor for long minutes, before finally returning to the pitch.
At the interval, Valenciennes and Rennes were back to the dressing room all even (1-1).

From the beginning of the second half, the « Rouge et Noir » started in full steam and were immediately dangerous. At the 52nd minute, Romain Danzé crossed for Julien Féret whose header was stopped by Penneteau. On the following corner, Jonathan Pitroipa sent a powerful delivery for John Boye, who threw himself on the line to give a new advantage to Stade Rennes (1-2, 54’). Rennes was logically in the lead and made the most of their extra-man. Five minutes later, Cohade sent a long shot which was easily gathered by Benoît Costil. In order to avoid late scares, the SRFC needed to find another goal.

With twenty minutes left to play, Benoît Costil managed a fine save on a point-blank header by Aboubakar, who had just replaced Samassa. Immediately after, Julien Féret sent a shot but wide of the Valenciennes goal. Only fifteen minutes before the final whistle, the Rennes goalkeeper had to produce another good save to deny Aboubakar, very active since his introduction to the game. Chances were piling up, and both teams had chances to score each to their turn. The last minutes were going to be stressful, with Rennes still exposed to a last minute equaliser from Valenciennes.
Instead, with four minutes left to play, Youssouf Hadji profited of a handling error by Penneteau to finish-off Valenciennes. (1-3, 87’).

At the term of an intense game, Frédéric Antonetti’s players managed to win their tickets for the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. In a game they globally controlled, Stade Rennes return to the final four of the showpiece of French Football, three years after their last final.

Match Facts

VALENCIENNES FC 1 - 3 STADE RENNAIS FC (half-time : 1-1)

Coupe de France, Quarter-Finals
Wednesday, March 21st 2012, 19 :15

Stade du Hainaut
Attendance : about 13 000 spectators

Referee : Laurent Duhamel

Goals : Pitroipa (11’), Boye (54’) and Hadji (87’) for Rennes. Samassa (31’) for Valenciennes.

Yellow Cards : Théophile-Catherine (29’) for Rennes ; Danic (69’) for Valenciennes.

Red Card : Kadir (41’) for Valenciennes.

- Stade rennais FC : Costil - Danzé (cap), Apam - Boye, Théophile-Catherine, Tettey - M’Vila, Féret - Hadji, Pitroipa (Brahimi, 89’), Montaño (Kembo, 64’).

Manager : Frédéric Antonetti.

- Valenciennes FC : Penneteau - Ducourtioux, Mater, Bangoura, Gil - Gomis, Cohade (Camara, 81’), Kadir, Dossevi (Djuric, 71’) - Danic, Samassa (Aboubakar, 67’).

Manager : Daniel Sanchez.

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