Lyon win Champions Trophy in shoot-out

French Cup holders Lyon kicked off the new season by beating title-holders Montpellier on penalties to win the Champions Trophy at the Red Bull Arena here on Saturday.

Lyon came from behind twice in 90 minutes and, with no extra-time, they won 4-2 in the shoot-out, with Jimmy Briand scoring the decisive spot-kick.

It was a missed opportunity for Montpellier, who led twice courtesy of a John Utaka strike and a penalty from Argentine summer signing Emanuel Herrera, only for Lyon to hit back each time through Bafetimbi Gomis and then Briand.

OL missed their first kick in the shoot-out, with Gueida Fofana seeing his effort saved, but goalkeeper Hugo Lloris -- who is a transfer target of Tottenham Hotspur -- saved from Gaetan Charbonnier and Henri Bedimo to set Lyon on their way to a seventh Champions Trophy victory.

It was their triumph in last season's French Cup that handed them their place in this match, the traditional curtain-raiser to the French season, which was played at the home of Thierry Henry's New York Red Bulls in an attempt to promote French football on this side of the Atlantic.

But OL are not the force they once were, and Remi Garde's side were without skipper Lisandro Lopez because of a calf injury, while Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom left the camp on the eve of the game to complete a transfer to Spartak Moscow.

Lyon, then, were the underdogs even against a Montpellier side missing their two star turns from their title-winning season -- Younes Belhanda was suspended while Olivier Giroud has departed for Arsenal.

But their coach Rene Girard was able to hand debuts to summer signings Daniel Congre, Anthony Mounier and Herrera, and Montpellier started the stronger of the two sides on a humid afternoon.

They played with greater fluidity and attacking intent in the opening stages and were rewarded with the opening goal just before the half-hour mark when Utaka broke in from the left and got a favourable ricochet off Fofana before beating Lloris with a powerful drive from 12 yards.

Mounier, who started his career at Lyon but left to make his name at Nice, fired over soon after before Fofana flashed a warning shot just wide at the other end.

And Lyon drew level with barely a minute of the first half remaining when Gomis got in between Vitorino Hilton and Bedimo to head home a superb Yoann Gourcuff cross from wide on the left.

That goal proved that Lyon remain a danger going forward even without Lisandro, but their inability to keep the door shut at the back cost them dear last season and they found themselves trailing again not long after the restart.

Gomis was harshly penalised by the American referee when a Marco Estrada free-kick struck his arm inside the area as he jumped with the wall, and Herrera, brought in from Chilean side Union Espanola this summer, sent Lloris the wrong way from the spot.

That looked to be that, especially after Fofana fired just over from 20 yards from a Gourcuff cut-back, but then Alexandre Lacazette picked out an unmarked Briand, who volleyed home to make it 2-2 13 minutes from time.

Stung by that blow, Montpellier were then reduced to ten men when Estrada was sent off for a reckless challenge on young substitute Yassine Benzia, and they were lucky not to lose the game inside 90 minutes.

Lacazette somehow failed to hit the target with the goal gaping, and Briand hit the post with an acrobatic volleyed effort, but Lyon were ultimately not to be denied.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Phl now biggest grower of GM crops
    Phl now biggest grower of GM crops

    The Philippines is now the twelfth biggest grower of genetically modified (GM) crops. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options