Europe’s second division expert David of Below the Top League
gives you the lowdown from another entertaining weekend of Ligue 2 action.
Angers, Caen, Creteil and Clermont are the early pacesetters as they leave matchweek 2 with the only 100% records. On the Friday night, Creteil and Caen sealed wins with last gasp winners but Clermont had an easier run of it. Caen travelled to Laval and fell behind 28 minutes in when Christian Bekamenga turned in a cross from 10 yards out to put the home side ahead, but were back level 3 minutes before the half time whistle through a Ngolo Kante strike from the edge of the box. That is how it stayed until 3 minutes before the end when Mathieu Duhamel headed in the winner. Creteil had to work hard for their win at home to Metz; They took the lead on 29 minutes with a Faneva Ima Andriatsima effort, but were pegged back before half time when Diafra Sakho equalised. Creteil took 4 minutes after the interval to regain the lead through a Cheikh Ndoye goal but Sakho equalised once again and it looked to be heading to a draw. Ndoye, however, had other ideas and scored the winning goal 2 minutes from time.
A Mana Dembele goal 12 minutes in away at Le Harve was enough to make it 2 wins out of 2 for the side from Auvergne, and despite some pressure from the home side before the end but held on to make it 6 points out of 6. On Saturday Angers carried on their great start to the season as a Jeremy Henin goal on 25 minutes was enough for all 3 points at home to Chateauroux. Le Harve and Laval are in a group of 4 sides which head into matchweek 3 without a point on the board.
The other 2 sides are CA Bastia and Istres. Bastia were hosting Nancy and fell behind on 33 minutes when Benjamin Jeannot scored his first of the season. Jean Francois Grimandi levelled proceedings on 49 minutes, but a Benjamin Moukandjo penalty just after the hour mark was enough for the away side, who had to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men as half-time substitute Romain Grange was shown a straight red card. Istres made the long trip north to face Brest and 2 quick fire goals in the second half sealed all 3 points for the home side. Brest’s first goal will be one Joris Sainati and Romain Lejeune want to forget quickly as a Jonathan Ayite shot deflected off Sainati and Lejeune couldn’t keep the effort out. Istres did equalise on 51 minutes through a delicious lob from the edge of the box from Jerome Leroy. The sides were level for less than 10 minutes as Nicolas Verdier converted the rebound from a Lejeune save with his first touch after coming off as a substitute. Ayite got the goal his performance deserved 5 minutes later as he was given all the time and space he needed to convert with the Istres defenders standing still.
In the other games Auxerre were hosting Nimes and all the scoring happened in a whirlwind 6 minutes in the second half. Pierre Bouby putting the away side in the lead on 71 minutes, but on 77 minutes a penalty converted by Paul Madiba ensured a share of the spoils, and 2 draws out of 2 for Auxerre. Arles were on their travels to Troyes and handed the points to their hosts as an own goal from Younis Abdelhamid was enough to secure the points. Arles ended the game with 10 men as Billel Omrani was given his marching orders.
The games between Tours and Niort, and Dijon and Lens ended in 1-1 draws. Andy Delort put Tours in front on 39 minutes, but a Kevin Rocheteau equaliser 8 minutes from time earned Niort a point. The scoring between Dijon and Lens was done before the interval. Florin Berengeur just after the quarter hour mark and Pablo Chavarria made it 1-1 a minute before half time.
Hero of the week: Cheik Ndoye (Creteil) his 2 goals ensured 2 wins out of 2.
Villain of the week: Romain Lejeune (Istres) a day to forget for the ‘keeper.