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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » PSG win French League Cup

PSG win French League Cup

March 30, 2008 17:01 IST

A controversial penalty three minutes into added time gave Paris St Germain a 2-1 win over fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Racing Lens in the French League Cup final at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Substitute midfielder Bernard Mendy scored the winner from the spot after referee Laurent Duhamel ruled that Lens defender Hilton had fouled forward Peguy Luyindula.

The offence looked far from obvious and the penalty decision was met by deafening boos from the Lens fans, whose team had fought back from a goal down and were hoping for extra time.

"I feel we've been robbed and Mr Duhamel robbed us," Lens coach Jean-Pierre Papin told French television channel France 3.

"To lose a final that way is a scandal," the former France striker added.

PSG, who dominated the first half of a lively game but struggled in the second, were not complaining after lifting the trophy for the third time following their success in 1995 and 1998 and winning a ticket to next season's UEFA Cup.

"It was a great final with a (good) half from each side and little bit of luck from us at the end," PSG defender Sylvain Armand told France 3.

Former Portugal striker Pauleta, the PSG captain, opened the scoring by flicking the ball over goalkeeper Ronan Le Crom from inside the area after 19 minutes.

Lens stepped up a gear after the break to equalise with a low angled shot from the edge of the area by midfielder Eric Carriere that bounced off the post into the net in the 52nd.

PSG had created the first chance in the match after five minutes when forward Amara Diane raced down the right and crossed for Pauleta, whose close range effort was deflected over the bar by Lens defender Adama Coulibaly.

Lens reacted after dropping behind with a fine solo run by forward Toifilou Maoulida and powerful drive from just inside the box that brought a superb save from Mickael Landreau just before the half-hour mark.

The northerners then came close to scoring two minutes into the second half when a header from midfielder Kader Mangane was deflected by PSG defender Ceara and went just wide.

Lens kept the pressure up after equalising and threatened to take the lead with a shot from 20 metres by midfielder Olivier Monterrubio that hit the post after 69 minutes and Maoulida's diving header that flew just wide two minutes later.

PSG, third from bottom in Ligue 1, and Lens, a place above them, must now focus of the battle against relegation after an entertaining final ended in bitter defeat the northerners.

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