By Chris Burke
Third division side Nîmes Olympique crushed OGC Nice 4-0 while Ligue 2 strugglers Clermont Foot Auvergne defeated Olympique Lyonnais on penalties as three lower-league teams reached the French Cup quarter-finals.
It proved an unhappy birthday for Lyon coach Paul Le Guen, who was in the Paris Saint-Germain FC lineup that lost on spot-kicks to Clermont on the same ground eight years ago. Turning 41 today, he will be suffering from déjà vu after seeing home goalkeeper Yoann Bouchard make two fantastic saves in a shoot-out that ended 4-3, the game having finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.
Sylvain Wiltord was the second Lyon player denied by Bouchard, but it was his last-gasp goal that had allowed the league champions to force extra time. Bruno Rodriguez had given Clermont an unexpected lead with a 55th-minute free-kick but Wiltord flicked the ball in five minutes into stoppage time. Bouchard then came to the rescue with a string of stops, before frustrating Pierre-Alain Frau and Wiltord from the spot.
Clermont will be joined in the last eight by third division giant-killers Nîmes, who added visitors Nice to AS Saint-Etienne and AC Ajaccio on their list of Ligue 1 scalps. Supporters could have been forgiven for forgetting which was the top-flight team, as Dramane Coulibaly and Mathias Verschave gave Nîmes a two-goal advantage after 35 minutes, before Eloge Enza Yamissi and Mathias Verschave struck in the second half.
In the evening's other tie, Ligue 2 outfit CS Sedan-Ardennes, two-time winners of the French Cup, went through comfortably after seeing off fourth division amateurs Quevilly US 2-0. The five remaining quarter-final places are up for grabs on Wednesday night.
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