Coupe de France Preview: US Quevilly v US Orléans
The Coupe de France and US Quevilly have a long history and on Saturday they will attempt to add a new chapter as they take on Orléans. The club that has remained staunchly amateur since its formation in 1902 reached the highest level of non-professional football, the third tier Championnat National, only in 2011.
The following season, 2011-2012 saw Quevilly became the first amateur club since Calais in 2000 to reach the final of the Coupe de France, where they lost 1-0 to Olympique Lyonnais. This remarkable run saw Rennes and Marseille fall to the amateur side on their way to the Stade de France.
Far from being their only recent exploit in the competition, the Normandy side reached the semi-finals in 2010 where the dream was ended by Paris Saint Germain. Amazingly three sides from Ligue 2 and four from Ligue 1 have fallen to Quevilly in just the last decade.
That 2012 final was Quevilly’s second Coupe de France final: the club also made it all the way in 1927, when they were defeated by Olympique de Marseille. Throw in another semi final in 1968 and one begins to get an impression of just how much of a love affair this little side from south of Rouen has with this knockout competition.
One of the teams to fall to Quevilly in 2012 was US Orléans who were beaten by two goals to nil after extra time in the round of 16. At the time, both sides were playing in the National division. The teams have gone in opposite directions since then and, this time, Quevilly are riding high in their CFA group, sitting second behind Sedan, while Orleans currently sit 13th in Ligue 2 after they were last season promoted to the second tier for the first time since 1991.
While their own cup history is not as deep as Quevilly’s, Orléans have too lost a final to one of Ligue 1’s big boys. AS Monaco defeated Orléans at the Parc des Princes in 1980. In order to reach this stage, Orleans have edged past ESM Gonfreville-l’Orcher on penalties and thrashed US Laon 7-0. Quevilly made the trip to Reunion where they took on SS Saint Louisienne, winning in extra time, after beating Siroco les Abymes in the previous round.
Given that now there are two leagues separating the sides, Quevilly will host the tie with hopes of an upset against their Ligue 2 opponents and begin yet another cup run which could have Ligue 1 sides fearing being drawn against the small club with magic in their boots.