Fekir sees Lyon into French Cup quarters

Lyon's French midfielder Nabil Fekir grabbed his 20th goal of the season with a 27th-minute spot-kick. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2018
0

Fekir sees Lyon into French Cup quarters

PARIS: Nabil Fekir’s penalty helped Lyon beat Montpellier 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2012.
Maxwel Cornet caught home goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte by surprise to give the visitors an early lead, only for Jonathan Ikone to quickly lash in an equalizer.
But Fekir grabbed his 20th goal of the season with a 27th-minute spot-kick to restore his team’s advantage.
Lyon move into the last eight for the first time since winning the trophy for a fifth time six years ago, bouncing back from back-to-back league defeats that have seen them slip to fourth in Ligue 1.
Coach Bruno Genesio made five changes to the side that blew a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to 10-man Monaco at the weekend, and it was Cornet who made the most of his opportunity by giving them a 13th-minute lead.
The 21-year-old latched onto Bertrand Traore’s pass, and with Lecomte anticipating a cross, he fired home inside the near post with a clever first-time effort to score his fourth goal of the season.
But Montpellier levelled just nine minutes later, as 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain loanee Ikone met Paul Lasne’s cutback to hammer into the top corner.
It took Lyon less than five minutes to move back in front, though, as Pedro Mendes clumsily bundled over Fekir in the area, with the attacking midfielder picking himself up to slot in from the penalty spot.
Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes had to make a couple of good saves in the second half, while Memphis Depay spurned an excellent chance at the other end, but the away side held on with relative ease.
Earlier on Wednesday, Caen edged out Ligue 1’s bottom club Metz on penalties after a 2-2 draw, while third-tier Chambly ended fourth-division outfit Granville’s run and Lens beat top-flight side Troyes.
Paris Saint-Germain continued their bid for a fourth straight title as Angel Di Maria scored a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 4-1 win at Sochaux.
Marseille are also through after Kostas Mitroglou and Lucas Ocampos both scored trebles in a 9-0 thumping of second-tier Bourg-en-Bresse.


FIFA says no doping cases against Russian squad members

Updated 22 May 2018
0

FIFA says no doping cases against Russian squad members

ZURICH: Global soccer body FIFA said on Tuesday that none of the players named in Russia’s provisional squad for next month’s World Cup have committed doping offenses.
FIFA said in a statement that, following the publication of the McLaren report, it launched investigations “into possible anti-doping rule violations by football players, prioritising high-level players against whom a suspicion had been raised, in particular those who might participate” at the World Cup.
It concluded that “insufficient evidence was found to assert an anti-doping rule violation” in the cases of all Russian squad members.
However, it added that investigations of several players unrelated to the World Cup were continuing.
“FIFA will continue to work on these cases in cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency. Further updates will be provided in due course,” it said.
The McLaren report, commissioned by WADA, said more than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and paralympic sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests.
It said that soccer was one of more than 30 sports involved.
Russia has acknowledged some findings of the McLaren report but has repeatedly denied the existence of a state-sponsored doping program.