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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Quevilly's footballing fairy tale - bis

You might remember a couple of years ago the team of Quevilly made it through to the semi-finals of the French Cup.

It was the stuff of dreams as the then fourth division side took on the giants of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), dreaming of a place in the final.

Les Canaris from the suburbs of the northern French city of Rouen had already beaten three higher-ranked teams before their semi-final appearance, but in spite of a brave performance their efforts were not rewarded and they lost 1-0 to PSG, the team that would go on to win the competition.

So no fairytale ending to a marvellous cup run back in 2010 and the hopes of making only their second cup final appearance (the first and only one was back in 1927) dashed.

But guess what.

Union Sportive Quevillaise have made it through to the final this time around after stunning first division side Stade Rennes 2-1 in the semis.

And they did it the hard way, coming from a goal down and scoring a late winner into stoppage time to book their place in this year's final against Olympique Lyonnais.

"After scoring I was on cloud nine," Anthony Laup, the man who sent Quevilly into the final, told reporters.

Anthony Laup - the man who scored the winner (screenshot BFM TV)

"But I'm sure the best is still to come - that's a promise," he said.

The team, currently lying 14th in the 20-strong National, the country's third division, had already beaten another of France's most titled sides, Olympique de Marseille, in the quarter-finals.

And Rennes knew exactly what to expect from the team that had knocked them out of the competition in the last-sixteen stage two years ago.

At a press conference after the game, their manager Frédéric Antonetti congratulated Quevilly on a deserved win but he couldn't hide his disappointment.

"It was the kind of game that was lost psychologically," he told reporters.

"Fear crept into our game and although we scored first, we just lacked any sort of personality on the field."

That, of course, was far from the feeling in the Quevilly dressing room or the Stade Michel-d'Ornano in the northern French city of Caen, where the game was played.

The players were already dreaming of their appearance at Stade de France in Paris on April

And a firework display lit the night sky to celebrate what one of the regional newspapers described as the incredible exploits of the side.

The final against Lyon will be played at Stade de France in Paris on April 28.

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