Friday, January 22, 2010
Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes are the first team to stamp a ticket to the Round of 16 in this year's edition of the Coupe de France after doing away with lower division Saumur on Friday evening.

Bocanegra started his second consecutive match at left back for Rennes and went the distance which is a positive sign for the US national team captain whose minutes had dwindled of late.

On paper, the matchup looked to be a lopsided affair between the two teams. Les Rouges Et Noirs currently sit ninth in the Ligue 1 strandings while Saumur play in Group G of the Championnat de France Amateurs 2, otherwise known as the fifth level of French soccer.

However the environment at the Stade des Rives du Thouet in Saumur suggested otherwise as the 1,100 capacity stadium was filled to the brim and had fans spilling out onto the track to catch a glimpse of their local heroes doing battle against the first division giants.

The hosts managed to stave off Frederic Antonetti's club until the 40th minute when Sylvain Marveaux gathered in a pass from Jimmy Briand and slotted a shot to the left of the Saumur goalkeeper for the game's first score.

Following the halftime break, Saumur took to the field with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and desperately tried to get the equalizer.

A 48th minute attack looked like it might produce a goal for the home team but Bocanegra rode to the rescue and foiled the run by sending the ball out of play.

Twenty minutes later, the California native almost put his name on the scoresheet following a Rennes corner kick but was unable to convert.

The visitors finally put the match away in the 84th minute when Senegalese forward Moussa Sow scored off a cross.

Four minutes later Marveaux added his second of the match with a shot from the penalty spot that found the back of the net.

Sow played copycat two minutes into stoppage time and scored his second of the match courtesy of penalty kick.

Bocanegra and Rennes return to league action next weekend when they host bottom feeders Grenoble.