TRAFTON KENNEY - Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saint Etienne continued their strong start to the season with a close win over league leaders Toulouse on Saturday.
American defender Carlos Bocanegra started and played the full ninety minutes at left back and helped the rest of the backline earn their second clean sheet of the season.
While Toulouse dominated the early exchanges of the game, Saint Etienne had the first chance in the 24th minute. A poor clearance by the Toulouse defense gifted Dimitri Payet with a clear shot on goal but the 23-year old missed high and wide.
Saint Etienne broke ahead ten minutes later when Albin Ebondo's right wing cross found the head of Laurent Batlles who nodded past Mathieu Valverde into the bottom left corner.
Ebondo nearly tested Valverde again with a direct free kick just before halftime but his shot never dropped below the crossbar.
A minute into the second half, Moussa Sissoko showed some rust after volleying wide after a good cross from Etienne Didot.
The best chance for the home team came in the 70th minute when Paulo Machado's left footed shot from outside the box rattled the crossbar.
The win moves Saint Etienne up to third place with ten points. They face Montpellier next Saturday at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard.