RECAP: WEEKEND FRENCH ACTION
Carlos Bocanegra played a full 90 for St. Etienne in their 2-1 loss to Rennes while Quentin Westberg started for Evian and posted a shutout against Troyes
AS St. Etienne 1 – Stade Rennais FC 2
The Stephanois fell at home to a convincing Breton eleven that took an early lead reclaimed it again by halftime to stay in the race for a Europa League spot.
Carlos Bocanegra resumed his duties in the backline of the Stephanois backline, recording another full 90 as a starter.
Victor Hugo Montaño startled the home crowd with an individual strike from 20 yards out, simply whipping a shot around defender Sylvain Monsoreau and past Jérémie Janot for the early 1-0 lead.
Bakary Sako produced a stunning equalizer after 28 minutes whirling in a corner from the right side that didn't need a touch to cross the goalline of Nicolas Douchez's net.
Jérôme Leroy won it for the guests with resounding goal a before halftime, chesting down a Montaño cross from the right side and slamming home from above the six-yard box to take the 2-1 lead into the locker rooms.
St. Etienne were unable to rebound and will look for consolation points against FC Sochaux Montbéliard on Saturday.
Evian TG FC 3 – ESTAC Troyes 0
Evian maintained their course to the Ligue 2 championship and Ligue 1 promotion with a commanding victory over an unconvining eleven from Troyes.
American back-up keeper Quentin Westberg stood in for the injured Bertrand Laquait and recorded his second atart and shutout this season against his former club.
Evian dominated possession in the opening minutes and found the back of the net in the 19th minute, when Aldo Angoula nodded down a Cédric Barbosa free kick from the left side to give the hosts the 1-0 lead.
Angoula nearly repeated the feat in the 38th minute, posted just outside the six-yard box for a header off a right-side corner. Although Troyes keeper Olivier Blondel managed to block the Frenchman's shot, Youssef Adnane was there to scoop up the remains for the 2-0 halftime lead.
Troyes' self-destruction began in the final quarter hour when Claudio Beauvue exited with a second yellow after a clumsy challenge on Kévin Bérigaud.
With four minutes to go Blondel lost track of a 30-yard strike from Brice Djadjedje that slipped through the defense and just inside the left post to cap off the 3-0 rout.
Troyes finished their frustrating night with nine men after Benjamin Psaume unnecessarily tripped up Nicolas Farina a minute into added time to see a straight red card.
Evian are clinging on to first place and will look to potentially clinch promotion at Stade de Reims on Friday.