Stoppage-time goal gives Nantes victory at Le Havre in French league relegation battle

AP , Sunday 14 Apr 2024

Kader Bamba came off the bench to score an injury-time winner as Nantes won 1-0 at Le Havre on Sunday, securing a vital win in its battle to avoid relegation from the French league.

Nantes
Nantes players celebrate with their supporters after winning at the end of the French L1 football match between Le Havre AC and FC Nantes at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre, north-western France, on April 14, 2024. AFP

Bamba cut inside from the left wing and hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty area in the third minute of stoppage time.

Storied club Nantes has won the league title eight times but narrowly avoided relegation last year and in 2021. Coach Antoine Kombouaré has saved the club before and was re-hired to do so again, despite very public differences of opinion between him and club president Waldemar Kita.

Kita said he was willing to put those aside because he respects Kombouaré's ability to motivate players and hold a dressing room together.

It seems to be working.

Kombouaré has won two of three league games since returning and Nantes is now up to 14th place in the 18-team league, with five matches remaining.

The bottom two go down and the 16th-place side goes into a relegation-promotion playoff. Le Havre was promoted last season and is in 15th place.

Later Sunday, Brest looked to consolidate its grip on second place with a win at Lyon while rock-bottom Clermont hosted Montpellier.

Runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain is not playing this weekend as it prepares to face Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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