KENYA BROWN - Friday, May 13, 2016
Bob Bradley and Le Havre had an emphatic 5-0 win over Bourg en Bresse 01, but narrowly missed out on promotion to Ligue 1.
The last day of the Ligue 2 season certainly did not disappoint as HAC and Metz battled for the third and final promotion spot on Friday in their respective games. However, it would be Metz who would gain promotion to France's top division by the narrowest of margins.
Bradley knew the odds were against his team as they needed to score six or more goals against Bourg en Bresse 01, and get some help from Metz's opponents on the day, Lens, to pull off another miracle in his long coaching career.
Le Harve got things going within five minutes of the first half when midfielder Thomas Ayasse volleyed his effort into the goal after receiving a cross from the left side.
Alexandre Bonnet made it 2-0 for the home side in the 38th minute when he decided to have a crack at the goal from just outside the box, and he made sure it counted as the fans in the Stade Oceane began to believe that they could overcome the impossible odds.
Joseph Mendes scored HAC's third goal at the stroke of half time. His header from a lobbed pass in the area clearly beat Bourg-en-Bresse goalkeeper Julien Fabri.
Entering the second half, Le Havre did not take their foot of the gas and scored their fourth goal on the day in the 67th minute. Issam Chebake would pounce on the loose ball from a corner kick and blast it into the goal from point blank range.
Ghislain Gimbert scored Le Havre's fifth and final goal in the 82nd minute as his headed effort beat Fabri.
Bradley's team did their part, but Metz were able to hold on to the third promotion spot despite suffering a 1-0 loss to Lens. They move on to Ligue 1 as they scored more goals than Le Havre.
Despite the missed opportunity, the former U.S. national team boss will now have a full season in Ligue 2 to put together a team that will certainly be heavy favorites for promotion next time around.