Nantes’ Antoine Kombouaré after qualifying for the Coupe de France semis: “We had the mindset to keep hold of that trophy.”

Nantes have beaten Lens tonight in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France. The cup holders defeated Les Sang-et-Or thanks to an Andy Delort brace, with both goals being converted from the spot.

Midfielder Seko Fofana had opened the scoring for the visitors. Despite the game being played behind closed doors, with Nantes’ fans being punished for using flares during last year’s final at the Stade de France, it was a convincing display from Antoine Kombouaré’s men after three losses on the bounce. The Kanak coach, who masterminded Nantes’ title last year, shared his delight on beIN Sports. I say an immense bravo to my players. They have been strong and solid. Today, I’m a happy head coach, because we are in the semi-finals!”

After Les Canaris got the lead on the hour mark thanks to Delort’s second goal from the spot, Nantes dug deep to maintain their advantage with backup goalkeeper Rémy Descamps proving instrumental. “I’ve always loved the cup. We had the mindset to keep hold of that trophy.” With Nantes eliminated from the Europa League last week and not yet safe from relegation, Les Canaris’ end of the season could have been very drab without a Coupe de France semi-final to look forward to. The Loire-Atlantique side will either face Lyon, Toulouse or the winner between Marseille and Annecy in the semis.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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