The fans of EA Guingamp are celebrating after a 2-0 win over Rennes secured their second Coupe de France victory in five years at the Stade de France on Saturday night.
It is an amazing achievement for a side playing in a town that only has a population of around 7,000 and means even more that the victory came against their Brittany rivals.
Although they started the game as underdogs, Guingamp controlled the majority of the match and took full advantage of Rennes' poor performance. In the first 20 minutes, Rennes barely managed to keep the ball out of their own half, and their opponents grew in confidence and looked to push Rennes back at every opportunity.
Guingamp's good play and pressure paid off after 37 minutes when they took a well-deserved lead. Claudio Beauvue found room on the right and his cross was headed back across the goal. Rennes ‘keeper Benoit Costil tried his best to punch it clear, but the ball fell to right-back Jonathan Martins Pereira, whose shot took a slight deflection before flying into the net.
Rennes tried to react in the remaining minutes but couldn’t get a foothold in the game. Coach Philippe Montanier had an important team talk to give at half-time, but in the first minute of the second half his words lost all meaning.
In their first attack of the half, Guingamp burst down the left-flank through Steven Langil, who played a perfect left-foot cross that found Mustapha Yatabare unmarked in the six-yard box. The big striker was never going to miss, and he silenced the Rennes fans and gave Guingamp a 2-0 lead.
There was no way back for Montanier’s side and Mamadou Samassa in the Guingamp goal had very little to do in the second half. Guingamp did what they do best and kept it tight at the back to ensure that, just like in 2009, the underdogs came out victorious in the Coupe de France final.
Read on for a few more things we learned from Saturday’s Breton Coupe de France final.