The full-time whistle goes, and Nantes have won the Coupe de France! Blas’ early penalty, won in the first passage of play in the second half, proved to be the difference as the men in yellow held on for the victory. But, unfortunately, nice’s late onslaught couldn’t quite muster a late equaliser, and they go home empty-handed, despite a much-improved second-half performance.
That Blas penalty sees Nantes win their first trophy since the 2001 Trophee des Champions. They’ll be playing in that game again in a few months, too, against league winners PSG, but the only requirement is to celebrate long and hard, as the thousands of fans wearing yellow cheer captain Blas as he lifts the Coupe de France.
NICE (4-4-2): Marcin Bulka; Jordan Lotomba, Jean-Clair Todibo, Dante, Melvin Bard; Hichem Boudaoui, Pablo Rosario, Kephrem Thuram, Amine Gouiri; Kasper Dolberg, Andy Delort.
NICE SUBS: Walter Benitez, Flavius Daniliuc, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jordan Amavi, Bilal Brahimi, Mario Lemina, Justin Kluivert, Calvin Stengs, Evann Guessand.
NANTES (3-5-2): Alban Lafont; Jean-Charles Castelletto, Andrei Girotto, Nicolas Pallois; Marcus Coco, Samuel Moutoussamy, Ludovic Blas, Pedro Chirivella, Quentin Merlin; Randal Kolo Muani, Moses Simon.
NANTES SUBS: Remy Descamps, Fabio, Roli Pereira De Sa, Kalifa Coulibaly, Wylan Cyprien, Dennis Appiah, Jean-Kevin Augustin, Sebastian Corchia, Osman Bukari.
GOOOAAAALLL!!!! Blas smashes his penalty from 12 yards straight into the back of the net, and the Nantes captain gives his side a 1-0 lead in this final.
Captain Dante was left to reflect on a painful missed opportunity and warned Christophe Galtier’s side must respond when they face St Etienne in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, with European qualification not secured.
The Brazilian defender said: “A lot of sadness. We are very disappointed because we wanted to give this to our supporters and the people waiting for this for so long, but we didn’t manage to do so.
“It will hurt for a long time, but we need to lift our heads quickly. We have a crucial match on Wednesday.”
Nice boss Galtier felt his side did not do themselves justice in Paris.
He said: “My feeling is a disappointment. When you reach the final, and you play for this magnificent trophy, you do everything possible to try to win it.
“The big regret I have is our technical quality on an offensive level. We had very little success in what we undertook. We showed too much haste in the game.”
He added: “It is a great regret, a very great disappointment.”
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