Brest, Montpellier and Nantes reach the knockout stages of the Coupe de France


The first division teams Brest, Montpellier and Nantes qualified for the knockout stages of the Coupe de France on Sunday, while the 2019 Rennes champion lost to Nancy in the second division on penalties.

Nancy, who launched the career of French great Michel Platini, won 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. 19-year-old Belgian striker Jeremy Doku gave Rennes the lead in the 58th minute and Mickael Biron equalized 20 minutes later.

Bastia, 1981 champion when Cameroonian star Roger Milla scored in the final, beat Clermont 2-0. Clermont was promoted last year but is struggling.

Midfielder Ludovic Blas and striker Willem Geubbels scored for Nantes in a 2-0 home win over Vitré, fourth division. Brest beat Bordeaux 3-0 and Montpellier beat Strasbourg 1-0 in first division matches.

Toulouse’s second division won a 1-0 victory at the fifth tier of Cannes, which was once a regular with the elite, and won the Cup in 1932.

Versailles, of fourth division, won 4-0 against La Roche-sur-Yon, fifth division, and Bergerac, fourth division, won 5-4 on penalties against Créteil, third division, after a game draw 0-0.

In Sunday’s subsequent matches, Monaco, last year’s runner-up, was at Quevilly-Rouen in the second division and Marseille, a 10-time winner, played at Chauvigny in the fifth division. Marseille last won the competition in 1989 and have lost three finals since.

Monaco said on Saturday that seven players had COVID-19 but none have shown worrying signs and are isolating themselves.

The French clubs return to play for the first time in a week and a half, a break which allowed the players to return home or on vacation.

The Paris Saint-Germain holder will be without star striker Lionel Messi, left-back Juan Bernat, substitute goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala for Monday’s Coupe de France match in Vannes, third division.

They have all tested positive for the coronavirus, with Messi recovering in Argentina.

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