Nantes is on course to retain its French Cup trophy after beating Lyon 1-0 at home in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Midfielder Ludovic Blas settled a tight match with a superb goal in the 57th minute, moving into space to control a high ball on his chest and then spinning to hit a fierce volley past goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Nantes coach Antoine Kombouaré played seven years for the club as a rugged defender, and last year helped it win the French Cup to end the club’s barren run of 21 years without silverware.
Nantes is aiming to win the competition for the fifth time, and to defend the title for the second time after triumphing in 1999 and 2000. Kombouaré’s side will meet the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between second-tier Annecy and top-flight Toulouse.
Lyon last won the competition in 2012, but confidence was boosted in coach Laurent Blanc’s team following Sunday’s win at league leader Paris Saint-Germain.
However, Lyon’s attack was kept quiet and Nantes fans poured onto the field in jubilation at the final whistle.
Defender Nicolas Pallois joined in with them and was engulfed by fans, taking several minutes to leave the field.
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