Les Herbiers Advances in Coupe de France
The Coupe de France is an annual football tournament held between the top club teams in France. Winning the highly prestigious tournament is the best way to prove who is the best football team in the country. The 2017-18 edition of the Coupe de France is already down to the quarterfinal round with only eight teams remaining. The first game of the quarterfinals was played yesterday when Les Herbiers VF of the Championnat National league played against RC Lens of the Ligue 2.
Neither of these teams are known as powerhouses in French football, so getting to the quarterfinals was a huge accomplishment. They both used a relatively easy tournament draw to their advantage to advance further than most of the top teams in France. Despite having to go on the road to play this big game, RC Lens was still highly favored yesterday. They are consistently one of the top teams in the second division of the French football league system while Les Herbiers VF regularly struggles to compete in the third division.
The talent disparity helped RC Lens dominate possession throughout the first half. Lens had three excellent scoring chances in the first 15 minutes of the game, but they could not put the ball in the back of the net. Les Herbiers settled into the game after the poor start, which helped them get several great scoring opportunities. The division three club continuously put shots on net despite struggling to possess the ball. An exciting half ended with the game scoreless after both teams failed to capitalize on their opportunities.
RC Lens continued to dominate possession of the ball in the second half, but they could not stop Les Herbiers from generating a lot of shots. The goalies on both teams came up with a few key saves in the second half as they game remained scoreless after 90 minutes. The game remained undecided after extra time, so it had to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Lens held a one-goal lead in the penalty shootout after making their first two shots, but they quickly squandered this advantage. Souleymane Diarra and Walid Mesloub missed the next two penalties for Lens. Florian David, Quentin Bonnet and Sebastian Flochon converted their penalty shots to give Les Herbiers the 4-2 victory in the shootout. Their next opponent will be determined during an open draw later this week, but it will likely be a top division team.
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