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Boudebouz nets late winner as St-Etienne reach French Cup final

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PARIS — Substitute Ryad Boudebouz scored the winner deep into injury time as Saint-Etienne stunned title holder Rennes 2-1 to reach the French Cup final on Thursday.

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Nearing the end of four minutes of injury time, the ball reached Boudebouz on the edge of the penalty area and he confidently stroked it into the bottom right corner.

Saint-Etienne has won the French Cup six times but not since 1977. Les Verts will now face 12-time champion Paris Saint-Germain in the final on April 25.

Rennes upset PSG in the final last year after coming from 2-0 down. The Brittany side looked in control when M’Baye Niang scored a penalty in the 33rd.

But defender Timothee Kolodziejczak equalized for the home side just before the break.

In Wednesday’s semifinal, Kylian Mbappe scored a hat trick as PSG won 5-1 at Lyon to reach its sixth straight final.

Chicago captures Ligue 1 striker Beric from Saint-Etienne

Chicago Fire signs new Designated Player
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The latest Designated Player in Major League Soccer toasted his new deal with a spicy shot of local flavor.

The Chicago Fire rolled out veteran Ligue 1 forward Robert Beric this weekend, the Slovenian tossing back a shot of Jeppson’s Malort as a part of the team’s announcement.

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Beric, 28, comes with a solid resume, scoring 34 times in 104 matches for Saint-Etienne since 2015/16. He spent time with Maribor, Rapid Vienna, Anderlecht, Sturm Graz, Interblok, and Krsko prior to that.

He only has one goal this season in 777 minutes, still getting plenty of run in Ligue 1. Head coach Raphael Wicky will hope he’s found a force. From

“Robert is hard-working, intelligent number nine who has the ability to score goals at a high rate. We are looking forward to welcoming him and his family to Chicago.”

The 24-times capped Slovenian has been with the national team as recently as October. He’ll be tasked with picking up the scoring in the place of Nemanja Nikolic. The departing forward scored 56 times in three seasons with the Fire, but just 12 last season.

Saint-Etienne wins at Monaco to keep the pressure on Lyon

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PARIS (AP) Saint-Etienne beat struggling Monaco 3-2 Sunday to keep the pressure on local rival Lyon in the fight for third place in the French league.

Third spot secures a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League next season, and Saint-Etienne moved above Lyon on goal difference.

Lyon was at home to Lille later Sunday, where a defeat for Lyon would effectively guarantee second place for Lille and automatic Champions League qualification with three games remaining after this weekend.

But Monaco is in trouble in 17th place and only three points above 18th-place Caen in the relegation-promotion playoff position.

Winger Remy Cabella did the damage for Saint-Etienne, scoring with a sharp volley to put the visitors 2-1 up in the 71st minute and then setting up forward Arnaud Nordin for a powerful header 10 minutes later.

Gelson Martins created a goal for Brazilian striker Vinicius, but his injury-time goal came too late for Monaco.

Martins put Monaco ahead in the 18th, only for defender Fode Ballo-Toure to gift Saint-Etienne an equalizer by volleying in an own-goal in the 59th.


Amiens climbed one place above Monaco after a 1-1 draw at Montpellier, which stayed fifth ahead of Marseille on goal difference.

Nantes is finishing the season in championship-winning form, albeit with nothing left to play for. A 3-0 home win against Dijon made it five straight victories and moved coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s side up to 11th place.

French Cup winner Rennes dropped to 13th after a 2-2 draw at Toulouse.

League champion Paris Saint-Germain drew 1-1 at home to Nice on Saturday and has won only one of its last seven games in all competitions.

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AS Saint Etienne takes player announcement to new level

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A week after FC Nantes spoofed Fortnight in announcing a new signing, fellow French club AS Saint Etienne went a little more old school.

Saint Etienne announced the signing ofย Timothรฉe Kolodziejczak via the board game Scrabble, somehow spelling out Kolodziejczak along with other French words for defensive traits, such as force, dominant, and a word to describe the announcement, “epic.”

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Kolodziejczak joins after a short spell with fellow Frenchman Andre-Pierre Gignac in Mexico with Tigres UANL. Let’s see which club takes player announcements to the next level.

Saint-Etienne set to be sold to U.S. investors

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SAINT-ETIENNE, France — France’s most decorated soccer club has started “exclusive negotiations” with American investors.

Saint-Etienne says current owners Bernard Caiazzo and Roland Romeyer are discussing with PEAK6 Investments for the possible sale of the 10-time French champions, who dominated soccer in the country during the 1960s and `70s.

PEAK6 already has stakes in Serie A club Roma and Premier League team Bournemouth, and is the majority owner of Irish side Dundalk.

If the sale goes through, Saint-Etienne will become the second club in the top division to be sold to American interests after Frank McCourt took over at Marseille.

According to L’Equipe newspaper, the sale could be finalized within 10 days.