Coupe de France 32emes : SC Hazebrouck v SM Caen
This is SC Hazebrouck’s fourth crack at post-Christmas Coupe de France action, but it has been a while – their last effort was in 1983 when they were in the third division, and were knocked out by Lille.
Now, they are in the sixth tier, but the augurs aren’t bad, as they have already got one giant-killing under their belt, having seen off Ligue 2 side Quevilly-Rouen in the 7th round, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 with goals from Aboubacar Camara and Romaric Poix.
They then went on to beat fourth-tier AS Beauvois-Aise 3-0, with a double from Adrien Desruelles and a cherry on the cake from Camara, to book their place in the 32emes.
This is a nothing-to-lose situation, therefore, for manager Frédéric Persoon and his men, as they welcome Caen. 12th in the table and with the worst attack in Ligue 1 with only 12 goals scored – even Metz have 13 – Patrice Garande will know that the regional side will be looking to pile the pressure on at their Stade Damette. His defence will need to keep a wary eye on Camara, Desruelles, and Poix, whose top-corner volley was the late winner against Quevilly, prompting a friend to pen a song in his honour.
With five divisions separating the two teams, it seems unlikely that Hazebrouck will continue their run, but they will be eyeing Caen’s lack of efficiency in front of goal as a ray of hope.