Sunday 22 January 2012 - 14:49 - Translated by Bastien
Coupe de France, Nice 0 - 0 Stade rennais (4-5 pen.). Despite a lack of imagination in attack, Frédéric Antonetti obtained their qualification for the next round through a penalty-shootout session. Unable to score during the hundred and twenty minutes of regular time, Stade Rennes made the difference with a decisive save by the spotless Benoît Costil. Once again.
Well aware of the importance of this new game against Nice, Frédéric Antonetti’s players were immediately switched on and in the game. Julien Féret shot against the left post of the Nice goal in the first minute of the game. The reply was immediate from Nice, but without consequences for the SRFC, since Costil finally blocked the ball in front of Civelli at the end of a confuse action, and relieved his defence that showed a bit apathetic there. The game had started on a high rhythm, but the Rennes defence showed a few worrying signs of weakness.
After a quarter of an hour, Romain Danzé delivered a perfect cross for the head of Montaño, who placed the ball just outside the post of Raul Fernandez, the Nice goalkeeper. Another minor scare for the “Eaglets”, but again without any consequences on the score board. Ten minutes later Didier Digard attempted a shot from 25 metres but Costil blocked it well. After a very lively beginning of the game, the rhythm finally went down for a while. At the 28th minute, Feret launched Montaño ideally behind the defence. The Rennes striker was brought down by the Nice goalkeeper who had rushed out of his goal. Despite the protestations from the Breton team, Mr Lannoy, the game’s referee, didn’t award the penalty. The foul seemed real however, Raul Fernandez proving quite agressive on this good opportunity for Rennes. Seconds later, Nice was close to scoring through Fabrice Abriel, but the midfielder didn’t manage to push the ball in the net. The game was tough and the contacts getting harder.
At the 35th minute, Abriel, again, unlocked the score-board with a beautiful volley, but his goal was logically ruled out for an offside position. The Rennes attacking line was then struggling to find any openings, Kembo showing rather discrete and increasingly irritated during the first forty-five minutes At the end of a rather pleasant first half, the teams returned to the dressing room on a quite logical goalless draw, even though the “Eaglets” were the most dangerous in front of Benoît Costil’s goals, even though the keeper didn’t have much to do. However, the Bretons were facing the necessity to up their game or face big difficulties against a courageous OGC Nice team that deserves probably much better than a difficult 18th position in the Ligue 1 table.
From the beginning of the second half, René Marsiglia’s players were setting camp in the Rennes half of the pitch. Mounier did well but missed the finishing after dribbling his way through the Rennes penalty area. Five minutes later, after a good work from Mounier, Gonçalves gave too much angle to his shot and the ball rolled left of Benoît Costil’s goal. Rennes suffered and didn’t manage to build. The Niçois were constanly first on the ball. A few instants later, Romain Danzé sent a long ball towards Montaño, but the striker couldn’t hit the target. Then Yacine Brahimi shot, but didn’t cause any concerns to the Nice defence. After the hour-mark, Yann M’Vila was next to try with a very pure 30 metre shot, but it didn’t prove to be of any danger for the Nice goalkeeper. Two minutes later, Julien Féret gave too much effect to his ball after receiving a superb pass from the international midfielder, brilliant throughout the game. The final fifteen minutes were looming, and Rennes seemed increasingly enterprising. With two minutes left to play, Montaño stole a ball badly used by Digard, but the Rennes striker’s shot was no threat to Fernandez. In the stoppage time, Féret attempted a clever chip, tipped over his bar by the Nice goalkeeper. The hundred and twenty seconds of additional times would not make any difference, Rennes and Nice were facing thirty additional minutes. With ten players against eleven following the injury of Stéphane Bahoken, René Marsiglia’s player were entering the extra-time with a major handicap. The players from the Breton capital profited of this advantage to put renewed pressure on their opponents. It was Nice however, who were first to create a chance on a cross by Gonçalves which didn’t find any taker. The Rennais were getting nervous, and Yann M’Vila was booked at the 99th minute.
Despite a clear advantage in the ball possession, Frédéric Antonetti’s men were still looking quite harmless, except for a long-shot from Cheick Fantamady Diarra just before half-time in extra-time. The penalty-shootouts seemed unavoidable, and even more though after Julien Féret missed the opportunity to score, two minutes in the second half. Indeed, Raul Fernandez was once more present to parry the shot of the Breton midfielder. With one minute to play, the former Nancy player had another chance to win the game, but failed to get the ball on target.
Nice would eventually lose in the penalty-shootouts lottery, when Mounier saw his attempts stopped by Benoît Costil. Stade Rennes is through with a bit of luck, after a game they globally controlled, but in which they lacked the finishing edge.
OGC NICE 0 - 0 STADE RENNAIS FC A.P. (4-5 Pen.) Coupe de France, Round of 16 Saturday, January 21st 2012, 20:45 Stade du Ray Attendance : 6 088 spectators