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Barthez the hero as Nantes, Marseille reach French Cup semis

27 February 2007 23:28

PARIS (AFP) - Former France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was the hero for new club Nantes as he helped them reach the French Cup semi-finals on Tuesday with a 6-5 win on penalties over Sedan, as his former club Marseille crushed Brittany minnows Vannes 5-0.

In his first penalty shootout since last year's World Cup final loss to Italy, Barthez, 35, produced the crucial save after the tie had ended 1-1 after extra time when he punched out Sedan's sixth penalty from Nicolas Marin.

Barthez has never won the French Cup being runner-up with Marseille last season. He made several key saves as the Canaries reached their sixth semi-final in nine years. They won the event in 1999 and 2000.

The loss was a blow for Sedan who had not lost a French Cup tie at home since 1995.

The hosts had taken the lead after 14 minutes when former Nantes striker Gregory Pujol's header beat Barthez.

But Sedan did not have time to savour their lead when a bad clearance saw striker Claudio Keseru grab the equaliser just a minute later.

Marseille had no such problems with Vannes with Mamadou Niang putting them ahead after just one minute at the Stade Velodrome.

Toifilou Maoulida doubled their account after 31 minutes when he converted a penalty, and scored his second after 66 minutes.

Djibril Cisse's 61 minute penalty and a Mickael Pagis effort a minute into extra time completed the scoreline.

Wednesday's quarter-finals see Lens travel to Montceau-les-Mines and Sochaux hosting Paris Saint Germain.

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