TRAFTON KENNEY - Sunday, May 2, 2010
Rennes continued their recent mediocre run of form as they lost to an opportunistic Sochaux team at the Stade de la Route-de-Lorient on Sunday.
While Carlos Bocanegra started and played the full 90 minutes at left-back for Rennes, Charlie Davies, still working his way back to full fitness, did not make the trip to Brittany with Sochaux.
Rennes showed none of the confidence home fans have come to expect in the opening exchanges of the game. A tentative start was compounded by an own goal by Jimmy Briand, a player more accustomed to scoring on the other end. A free kick conceded by Abdou Kader Mangane in the 28th minute granted Sochaux their first opportunity of the game, one converted by an unfortunate Briand whose deflected header left Nicolas Douchez helpless in goal.
Rennes grew more comfortable in possession after halftime, but it still took the Bretons nearly a half hour to carve out a clear chance. In the 74th minute, Sylvain Marveaux crossed well from the corner but Petter Hansson's header failed to beat the crossbar. A minute later, Asamoah Gyan had a goal disallowed for offside after being played through by Rod Fanni.
Despite continued pressure from Rennes, Sochaux added another against the run of play. Another cross from Nicolas Maurice-Belay found Benjamin Gavanon who slotted past Douchez in the bottom left corner in the 81st minute.
Les Rouges et Noirs, however, were quick to respond after Sochaux were penalized for a handball in the box by Jeremie Bréchet. Marveaux converted from the spot to give the home fans hope for a late equalizer that never came.
Eighth-place Rennes have now gone five games without a win and are no longer in contention for a place in Europe. They have three days to recover before traveling to Marseille to face a team eager to lift the Ligue 1 crown.
Fresh off their first win since March 6th, Sochaux hope to finish strong when they face Montpellier this Wednesday.