Monaco waste two-goal lead, bow out from French League Cup semifinals

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-30 07:14:03|Editor: mmm
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PARIS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ligue 1 languishing side Monaco squandered a two-goal lead before losing to fellow strugglers Guingamp through penalty shootout in the French League Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

Monaco built a comfortable 2-0 lead into halftime thanks to goals from Rony Lopes and Aleksandr Golovin, both involving their latest signing Gelson Martins, but Guingamp dominated the other half to force a penalty shootout following Alexandre Mendy and Marcus Thuram's goals.

Guingamp substitute goalkeeper Marc-Aurele Caillard shone afterwards blocking two penalties, and Marcus Coco gifted the league's bottom side a final spot with his cool finish.

Monaco embraced the first match after Leonardo Jardim was reappointed as their head coach, but had to play with 10 players since the 14th minute. William Vainqueur was intially shown a yellow card for his challenge on Thuram, but the referee changed that into the red one following a VAR consultation.

However, Lopes managed to move Monaco ahead four minutes later with a spectacular volley after collecting Martins' pass and steadying himself.

Monaco seemed to be well on track of recovering from recent sluggishness, when Golovin notched his first Monaco goal through a counter-attack in the 24th minute.

The match, however, witnessed different scenario in the second half. Mendy made the most of Monaco's defensive weakness to get one back shortly after the restart, before Thuram fired home from outside the area in the 55th minute.

Caillard, who came off the bench just in stoppage time, had his impact during the penalty shootout. After Monaco teenager Sofiane Diop saw his powerful shot hit the crossbar, Coco set the shootout score at 5-4.

Wednesday's winner between Strasbourg and Bordeaux will face Guingamp in the final.