Marseille shock Lyon as amateurs shine in Cup

January 31, 2007

PARIS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Late goals by Mickael Pagis and Mamadou Niang gave Olympique Marseille a remarkable 2-1 victory over Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon and a place in the French Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Amateurs Montceau caused a major upset when they dumped Girondins Bordeaux out on penalties while a last-gap goal by Claudiu Keseru put Ligue 1 strugglers Nantes through with a 1-0 extra-time win over Lille.

Lyon were cruising towards a seemingly easy win following Cris's opener from a Juninho free kick but Marseille, who have won the competition a record 10 times, never gave up.

Three minutes from time, substitute Pagis latched on to a Franck Ribery cross from the right to beat France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet.

One minute into injury time, Niang headed home a Habib Beye cross to ruin Lyon's hopes of winning the Cup for the first time since 1973.

Lyon, whose form has nosedived recently with only two points from their last four Ligue 1 matches, have never beaten Marseille in the French Cup.

We have shown a great spirit. And those who thought I was dead, I proved them wrong tonight, Pagis told French TV Channel France 3.

It was great football, it is amazing, said coach Albert Emon.

Bordeaux bowed out to amateurs Montceau, who play in the fourth division, when they lost the penalty shootout 5-4 following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

At Nantes, Romanian Keseru came on as a substitute in the 115th minute and did not get a touch of the ball until he took a free kick just before the final whistle and curled it from 20 metres into Gregory Malicki's far top corner.

Until then, Nantes goalkeeper Fabien Barthez had been in a class of his own with spectacular saves throughout the game.

The former Manchester United and Olympique Marseille keeper denied Lille striker Johan Audel in the 40th minute and blocked a Ludovic Obraniak attempt from close range after the break.

However, Barthez was lucky when Obraniak's free kick hit his left post on the hour.

Okay, we won but let's keep our feet on the ground because in 72 hours, the (league) match we will play in Lille will be much harder, said Nantes coach Georges Eo.

Nantes, third from bottom in Ligue 1, travel to second-placed Lille on Saturday in their fight to avoid relegation.

RC Lens qualified easily by knocking out third division side Clermont 4-1 with strikes by Seydou Keita, Eric Carriere and Daniel Cousin and a Samuel Darchy own goal.

On Tuesday, holders Paris St Germain went through with a 1-0 home win over Valenciennes and Sochaux grabbed a 2-0 victory at Monaco.

The quarter-final draw will be made on Sunday.