St Etienne held at Troyes
Last Updated: 30/03/13 7:39pm
Benjamin Nivet: Equaliser for Troyes
St Etienne missed out on the opportunity to move third in Ligue 1 after being held to a 2-2 draw at Troyes.
Despite twice taking the lead in a frantic first half with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Brandao, the visitors were pinned back on both occasions by a dogged Troyes side.
The hosts were thankful to Julien Faussurier and Benjamin Nivet who scored the goals to earn a draw but the result did little for Troyes' hopes of Ligue 1 survival, leaving them four points adrift of safety.
The visitors took the lead within the first 10 minutes in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. Josua Guilavogui's straightforward effort from the edge of the area took a deflection off Aubameyang's head and finished up beyond Yohann Thuram in the Troyes goal.
Despite an unsuccessful Aubameyang penalty call, an undeterred Troyes side hit back with 25 minutes played. Faussurier got on the end of a Fabien Camus ball and despite deliberating the midfielder beat Stephane Ruffier from a tight angle.
The hosts' leveller was cancelled out shortly after though when defender Jonathan Brison delivered from the left touch-line. His cross found Brandao at the back post and the Brazilian produced a pinpoint header back across goal to give his side the lead for a second time within the first half-hour.
There was still time for another goal before the break, though, as Troyes found themselves back level thanks to Perrin. Eloge Enza-Yamissi delivered a superb cross and Nivet nipped in ahead of Loic Perrin to power a header beyond Stephane Ruffier.
The second half proved to be a more cagey affair with Troyes seemingly happy to sit back and try and contain St Etienne.
That tactic almost shot the hosts in the foot when Aubameyang managed to beat Maxime Colin on the left before bending a right-footed shot at goal but the Gabonese's effort missed the opposite corner by an inch.
Camus forced a save from Ruffier direct from a dangerous Troyes free-kick before Thuram made the save of the match to keep the scores level.
Following some great play from the visitors, Brison picked out Romain Hamouma in the area but Thuram made a superb reflex save to keep out his goal-bound volley.
Despite some huffing and puffing in the latter stages neither side managed to find the telling breakthrough to help their respective Ligue 1 plights.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||18||43|
|16||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||20|