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Annecy stun French football giants Marseille to reach cup semi-final

The victory on penalties has been hailed as Annecy’s ‘match of the century’

Annecy are now looking to book a spot at this year’s final, which will be held at the Stade de France Pic: Yuri Turkov / Shutterstock

French second-tier team FC Annecy is today basking in the glory of causing a major upset by defeating giants Olympique Marseille in the Coupe de France last night (March 1).

They drew 2-2 in Marseille before winning on penalties and reaching the semi-finals of the competition for the first time. 

Marseille, who were favourites to lift the cup after knocking out Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) in the previous round, were hoping to end their drought in the competition, which they have not won since 1989.

“It's a great source of pride for the whole city,” said Annecy’s mayor, François Astorg, who also thanked the 1,000 supporters who travelled to Marseille for the game.

After Marseille took the lead in the first half, FC Annecy fought back, a quickfire double after half-time giving them a slender lead to defend.

Marseille piled on the pressure – with Alexis Sanchez missing a late, but controversial, penalty – but Annecy continued to hold firm, until a last-gasp equaliser from substitute François-Regis Mughe forced the match to penalties.

The Ligue 2 side held their nerve during the shootout, winning 7 – 6 after Marseille defender Leonardo Balerdi missed his penalty, leaving him looking distraught as the Annecy players flooded the pitch in a claret wave of joy.

Read also: Scotland and Ireland, then France, top readers’ support in Six Nations

‘Match of the century’

Reaching the quarter-final of the competition was already a huge achievement for Annecy, who are currently riding the crest of a wave and are back in France’s second tier for the first time in 29 years, where they currently sit a comfortable 10th.

The David vs Goliath victory, however, is already being labelled as a crowning moment for the club.

FC Annecy will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2027, and last night’s victory may be the pinnacle of their achievements.

“That could be put down as the match of the century [for FC Annecy]” said club president Sébastien Faraglia.

That is, of course, unless they manage to beat one of Lyon, Nantes, or Toulouse in the next stage and reach the final.

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