SAS Épinal have only won two games this season in France's third tier, yet they are celebrating ending Olympique Lyonnais's French Cup defence thanks to a dramatic victory.
In front of a Stade de la Colombière full to its 7,000 capacity, Lyon were playing their first cup tie since beating US Quevilly at Stade de France in April. However, striker Bafétimbi Gomis admitted Lyon "paid for a poor start" as they overturned a two-goal deficit but lost on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Tristan Boubaya headed in two Romain Chouleur corners on 11 and 14 minutes for Épinal, who have never played above Ligue 2. Within seven minutes Gomis and Gueïda Fofana levelled and Lisandro's penalty put them ahead but Chouleur set up Valentin Focki to force an extra half-hour. Lyon hit the post twice in extra time but penalties were needed and after Bakary Koné and Fofana missed their attempts Famara Diedhiou hit Épinal's winner.
"I don't know if it's a dream or if it's real," said Épinal president Yves Bailly while coach Fabien Tissot described the achievement as "just huge but deserved". He added: "We thought there was no point in coming on the pitch to only keep it tight," while Lyon's Michel Bastos hailed "a team who managed to make us stutter. Credit to them."
With 6th place in Ligue 2 in 1977/78 their highest-ever finish, and having already equalled their best cup run by making the round of 32, Épinal could write another page of their history when they host another former trophy winner, FC Nantes, in a fortnight.
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