Coupe de France 16emes : US Granville v Concarneau
After FC Still and CA Pontarlier came up just short, there was no doubt about the shock of the last round of the Coupe de France, as fourth-tier Granville overcame Ligue 1 Bordeaux 2-1 (all captured here in this Peter Jacksonesque film). The result no doubt precipitated Jocelyn Gourvennec’s departure, and coach Johan Gallon (“for me, dreams are there to be turned into reality – don’t doubt your team-mates, don’t doubt yourselves, have confidence – today is D-Day!”) will be looking to upset higher-ranked opposition, albeit not quite as lofty as the Girondins, in the form of National side Concarneau.
Hero of that Bordeaux win was Congolese international Ladislas Douniama, who recovered from an early penalty miss to set up Sullivan Martinet’s 94th minute equaliser (ironically, both players were on Guingamp’s books under Gourvennec) and then score the extra time winner from the spot. He has four goals in the last three rounds and although he failed to find the net in USG’s last match – a 4-1 win at Limoges which sees them comfortably mid-table in their National 2 group, with games in hand over everyone around them – he will hope to be making the headlines again this midweek.
Home advantage – for the fourth straight round – will be another aide for USG – but they certainly will not find it easy going against USC. Concarneau have recent Cup pedigree of their own, making the quarter finals in 2015 – and they have reached this stage by beating teams higher and lower in the footballing pyramid, seeing off Ligue 2 Brest 3-2 before a comfortable 3-0 win at eight tier AC Houilles in the last round, the goals shared between top scorers Julio Donisa and Said Idazza.
Les Thoniers are in a fine vein of form, with seven wins in their last nine in all competitions also helping them creep up a congested National table. That relieving of league pressure may play to their advantage as they can relax here and aim for another deep cup run. Idazza – a midfielder – has scored an incredible 11 goals during that period and will be the main man for Granville to keep an eye on here, if they are to spring another shock.
A Normandy-Brittany derby between two upwardly-mobile seaside towns, both in good form and both keen to make waves in this season’s competition. This should be great fun, with a good chance of another upset at the end of it.