Coupe de France Finale
A dream is blown away (0-1)
In the incredible atmosphere of the Stade de France, OGC Nice fell to defeat in the final of the Coupe de France against Nantes (0-1).
Disappointment, dejected faces, frustration… The story was meant to be a beautiful one and 7 May 2022 should have been recorded in the history books as the date when OGC Nice took home their fourth Coupe de France trophy. But in football, nothing is ever a given and it was Les Niçois' turn to live through the bitter experience this evening. Christophe Galtier's side lost the match in front of 20,000 Nice supporters who had travelled up to the capital for the occasion, after a balanced encounter in which both sides had their periods of domination, but where Les Canaris were able to take advantage of their chance. On the other hand, Les Niçois, were repeatedly denied by an unbeatable Lafont and were punished by a penalty at the start of the second half.
FROM ONE GOAL TO THE OTHER IN THE FIRST HALF
However, from the very get go, it was Les Azuréens who dominated the possession and tried to find the solution down the wings with crosses into the box, but they were never able to take advantage of their domination. Bard's cross into the box from the left was headed away by the Nantes defence. Rosario picked up the second ball and played in Gouiri who mis-controlled in the box and allowed Lafont to recover the ball. But it was Les Nantais who were to create the first real chance of the match. Ludovic Blas struck with his right foot from the edge of the box, but Bulka got down well to make a save. Bulka then continued to impress and dominated his area, rushing out to deny Blas in the box.
The match was rather balanced with the teams each having their own periods of domination. On the 30-minute mark, Nice looked the more dangerous, but still were unable to find a way past the Nantes defence. Gouiri's left-footed effort was deflected off for a corner and Rosario's shot flew over the bar. Les Nantais troubled Les Rouge et Noir with strikes from Coco, Kolo Muani and Simon but Le Gym's defence stood strong. After a rhythmic and very open first half, the two sides headed in at half-time on level terms (0-0).
NICE PUNISHED FROM THE SPOT AND DENIED BY LAFONT
At the very start of the second half, Nantes won a penalty after Boudaoui handled a cross from Merlin in the box. Ludovic Blas stepped up and found the back of the net with a powerful left-footed strike down the middle to give Nantes the lead (0-1, 46’). Chirivella almost doubled their lead with a half-volley that just missed the target. Les Niçois then tried to get themselves back on the front foot after the opener. Gouiri perfectly controlled the ball with his chest and struck with his right foot but Coco perfectly turned the ball away for a corner. On the hour mark, Le Gym's supporters had their hearts in their mouths when Nantes broke on a rapid counter-attack. Kolo Muani crossed into the box for Simon, but his effort was deflected off for a corner by Lotomba.
In front of goal, nothing seemed to go for Galtier's men who were denied time after time by an impressive Alban Lafont. After Khéphren Thuram broke into the box, the Nantes goalkeeper parried Gouiri's strike. The ball fell to Delort who immediately struck but Girotto was there to clear the ball off the line.
Well set-up, Antoine Kombouaré's side dropped deeper but managed the closing stages of the match with belligerence.
THE NEXT MATCH
After the Coupe de France defeat, Les Aiglons will need to bounce back for the final three league matches with the objective of finishing in the highest European spot possible. Les Azuréens will face AS Saint-Etienne at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday at 7pm for Matchday 36 of Ligue 1.
The album of the final
Nice 0-1 Nantes
The highlights of the final
May 7 2022 21:00
Stade de France
- Andrei Girotto
Benitez Daniliuc Amavi Schneiderlin Stengs
Descamps Appiah Augustin Corchia Coulibaly Pereira de Sa
Todibo (42') Boudaoui (54') Dante (79')
Shots on target