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Simon, Coulibaly, Traore, Moutaoussamy, Castelletto, and Bukari win French Cup with FC Nantes

01:30 GMT+3 08/05/2022
Moses Simon, Nantes
Thanks to their victory over Nice, the Africans have now won their first silverware with the Stade de la Beaujoire outfit

Moses Simon, Kalifa Coulibaly, Charles Traore, Samuel Moutoussamy, Jean-Charles Castelletto, and Osman Bukari have won the 2021-22 French Cup with FC Nantes after defeating Nice 1-0 on Saturday.

Ludovic Blas’ second-half strike powered the Canaries past the Eaglets in the keenly contested final played at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis.

Nantes reached this stage after getting past AS Monaco on penalties while Nice dismissed FC Versailles 2-0 in the last four. 

In what happened to be a cagey affair, the first half ended goalless as a fear of mistakes dictated the opening stages.

Amine Gouiri could have given Christophe Galtier’s men the lead but his deflected effort could not beat goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

A minute into the second half, Nantes go a penalty as Quentin Merlin’s pass inside the box hit the hand of Hicham Boudaoui.

Blas stepped up to smash the ensuing penalty kick past goalkeeper Marcin Bulka to put Antoine Kombouare’s side ahead. 

That lead fuelled the Canaries’ confidence as they continued to dominate ball possession, with Nigeria international Simon going close to doubling their advantage.

Nice had chances to level matters but they missed clear-cut opportunities. Despite their late waves of pressure, they were unable to stop Nantes from winning their first piece of silverware since 2001.

While Cameroon’s Castelletto was in action from start to finish alongside Congo’s Moutoussamy, Simon was subbed off for Ghana’s Bukari in the 73rd minute.

Elsewhere, Mali duo of Traore and Coulibaly played no part in the low scoring final.

For Nice, Algeria international Andy Delort and Hicham Boudaoui played all 90 minutes, while Gabon international Mario Lemina was subbed off for Pablo Rosario in the 63rd minute.

Galtier’s side, who occupies the sixth spot in the French top tier, would be aiming to return to winning ways when they welcome Saint-Etienne to Allianz Riviera on May 11.

Apart from dethroning Paris Saint-Germain, Nantes - who missed relegation by whiskers the last term -  will represent France in next season’s Europa League. 

Now unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, they face Rennes in their next league outing at the Stade de la Beaujoire.