Nice ended the fairy tale run from fourth-tier Versailles in the Coupe de France, winning 2-0 at home on Tuesday to book a place in the final for the first time in 25 years. Amine Gouiri made up for several chances as he grabbed the opening goal in the 48th minute, sending the ball inside the box after coming back late to convert a searching cross from the right.
It was a rare mistake from a tenacious defense visiting the Allianz Riviera, where they held off their hosts in the first half despite persistent pressure. But the fierce attack ultimately proved too strong and a mazy dribbling run from Gouiri opened up the Versailles defense before he passed generously for Kasper Dolberg to add a second in the 73rd minute.
Nice, who totally dominated the game, were last in the cup final in 1997, when they beat En Avant Guingamp on penalties to win the trophy. They were also twice winners in the 1950s. Versailles top the table in France’s fourth tier and have won six draws on their way to the semi-finals, but without facing a Ligue 1 club before the semi-final Tuesday with Nice.
Nantes will host Monaco in Wednesday’s second semi-final with the final at the Stade de France on May 8. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)
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