Lyon beats Quevilly 1-0 to win French Cup
PARIS (AP) -Lyon collected its first trophy in four years when it beat a spirited Quevilly 1-0 to win the French Cup for a fifth time on Saturday.
Striker Lisandro Lopez scored the winning goal.
Despite an annual budget of ?1.9 million ($2.5 million) compared to Lyon's ?150 million, it was far from a mismatch as Quevilly harried Lyon all over the field, even though the semiprofessional had few chances. Quevilly plays two divisions below Lyon in the National League.
"We approached the match with a lot of respect and humility for Quevilly,'' Lyon coach Remi Garde said. "Well done to them.''
Lyon had not won anything since clinching the league and cup double in 2008, had the better chances and Lopez volleyed Lyon ahead in the 28th minute.
"It's the best trophy, given the hard times we've had recently,'' said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, who replaced expensive hire Claude Puel with Garde, the former youth team coach, last summer after three seasons without any silverware.
Lyon goalie Hugo Lloris had little to do but made a superb fingertip save to push Anthony Laup's stinging drive onto the crossbar in the second half.
"Quevilly showed a lot of courage,'' Aulas said.
Lyon had late chances for more goals but the victory made amends for losing the League Cup final to Marseille two weeks ago.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and presidential candidate Francois Hollande both attended the match at Stade de France.
Lyon captain Cris raised the trophy and, in a sporting gesture, invited Quevilly captain Gregory Beaugrard to hold it aloft with him. Quevilly upset the odds by beating Marseille in the quarterfinals and Rennes in the semifinals.
"I am proud of my players tonight. I'm particularly pleased with how we played in the second half,'' Quevilly coach Regis Brouard said. "I take my hat off to Lyon. Well done to them.''
There was hardly a bad tackle in the game, and afterwards Garde hugged Brouard and they spoke at length on the touchline.
"It was a great final played in the right spirit,'' Garde said.
Lopez almost scored early on when he expertly pulled down a high pass and drilled a low shot onto the post.
Lyon then lost center half Dejan Lovren to injury, as he went down clutching his left calf and was replaced by Bakary Kone in the 20th.
Striker Alexandre Lacazette saw his shot cleared off the line by defender Frederic Weis, but then set up Lyon's goal.
Lacazette chased down Bafetimbi Gomis' clever flick, skipped past goalkeeper Yassine El Kharroubi and then whipped in a cross from the right that Lopez expertly volleyed home for his 22nd goal of the season - six of those in the French Cup.
Lyon almost doubled its lead early into the second half when Lacazette's deflected shot looped over El Kharroubi, hit the crossbar and bounced down to Lopez, whose shot was hacked away for a corner.
Gomis swept a shot wide in the 76th and substitute Jimmy Briand, who came on for Gomis, saw his late effort kept out by El Kharroubi.