Evian boost survival hopes
Last Updated: 13/04/13 9:45pm
Evian celebrate Yannick Sagbo's strike
Two late goals gave Evian a 4-2 win over Rennes which could prove vital in their battle for Ligue 1 survival.
With the drop very much on their agenda, Pascal Dupraz's men were a point clear of the bottom three entering the last 12 minutes of this game.
Milos Yinkovic and Yannick Sagbo quickly changed that, though, with Evian ending the night three points ahead of the pack and able to look ahead to their midweek Coupe de France quarter-final with a little more optimism.
Before the late surge they had got and squandered the lead twice, with Jean Kana-Biyik's own goal and Kevin Berigaud's strike scrubbed out by Julien Feret and John Boye.
No lasting damage would be done, though, with Evian getting the reward their display deserved.
They were on the front foot from the off - going ahead inside a minute as Kana-Biyik unwittingly put through his own goal as he tried to clear a Franck Dja Djedje shot.
Evian hunted a second too, with Cedric Barbosa denied by Benoit Costil, before Rennes levelled with their first attack.
Jonathan Pitroipa's flick set Feret loose in the 22nd minute, and he wriggled clear of two defenders before curling in a superb equaliser.
But Evian were running hot and soon got the lead back, Berigaud registering one of the strikes of the season with a crunching first-time volley from Barbosa's 34th-minute corner.
After the break Rennes looked a little livelier; Feret's free-kick was saved by Bertrand Laquait and Pitroipa went close, while Daniel Wass worked Costil at the other end.
Rennes would score next, though, with Boye rising highest to meet a Feret corner and set up a tense finish.
That was the kickstart Evian needed to put the game to bed and with 12 minutes left Ninkovic crashed in a third after Barbosa and Sagbo worked an opening, before the latter made the points safe with a close-range 82nd-minute header.
Rennes have bigger things ahead of them now, with a Coupe de la Ligue final against St Etienne set for next weekend.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||38||83|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||38||37|